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Title: Dulcibel - A Tale of Old Salem
Author: Peterson, Henry
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dulcibel - A Tale of Old Salem" ***

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[Illustration: She stood up serene but heroic]


DULCIBEL

A Tale of Old Salem

BY

HENRY PETERSON

Author of

"Pemberton, or One Hundred Years Ago"

Illustrations by

HOWARD PYLE

PHILADELPHIA

The John C. Winston Co.

1907

Copyright 1907

BY

Walter Peterson.



Contents.


Chapter.                                                     Page.

      I DULCIBEL BURTON                                          1

     II IN WHICH SOME NECESSARY INFORMATION IS GIVEN            12

    III THE CIRCLE IN THE MINISTER'S HOUSE                      17

     IV SATAN'S ESPECIAL GRUDGE AGAINST OUR PURITAN FATHERS     22

      V LEAH HERRICK'S POSITION AND FEELINGS                    24

     VI A DISORDERLY SCENE IN CHURCH                            27

    VII A CONVERSATION WITH DULCIBEL                            32

   VIII AN EXAMINATION OF REPUTED WITCHES                       47

     IX ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MORE ALLEGED WITCHES              54

      X BRIDGET BISHOP CONDEMNED TO DIE                         59

     XI EXAMINATION OF REBECCA NURSE                            64

    XII BURN ME OR HANG ME, I WILL STAND IN THE TRUTH OF CHRIST 73

   XIII DULCIBEL IN DANGER                                      80

    XIV BAD NEWS                                                91

     XV THE ARREST OF DULCIBEL AND ANTIPAS                      94

    XVI DULCIBEL IN PRISON                                     102

   XVII DULCIBEL BEFORE THE MAGISTRATES                        107

  XVIII WELL, WHAT NOW?                                        123

    XIX ANTIPAS WORKS A MIRACLE                                128

     XX MASTER RAYMOND GOES TO BOSTON                          136

    XXI A NIGHT INTERVIEW                                      139

   XXII THE REVEREND MASTER PARRIS EXORCISES "LITTLE WITCH"    149

  XXIII MASTER RAYMOND ALSO COMPLAINS OF AN "EVIL HAND"        162

   XXIV MASTER RAYMOND'S LITTLE PLAN BLOCKED                   166

    XXV CAPTAIN ALDEN BEFORE THE MAGISTRATES                   172

   XXVI CONSIDERING NEW PLANS                                  180

  XXVII THE DISSIMULATION OF MASTER RAYMOND                    188

 XXVIII THE CRUEL DOINGS OF THE SPECIAL COURT                  192

   XXIX DULCIBEL'S LIFE IN PRISON                              199

    XXX EIGHT LEGAL MURDERS ON WITCH HILL                      205

   XXXI A NEW PLAN OF ESCAPE                                   214

  XXXII WHY THE PLAN FAILED                                    221

 XXXIII MISTRESS ANN PUTNAM'S FAIR WARNING                     230

  XXXIV MASTER RAYMOND GOES AGAIN TO BOSTON                    237

   XXXV CAPTAIN TOLLEY AND THE STORM KING                      244

  XXXVI SIR WILLIAM PHIPS AND LADY MARY                        252

 XXXVII THE FIRST RATTLE OF THE RATTLESNAKE                    262

XXXVIII CONFLICTING CURRENTS IN BOSTON                         269

  XXXIX THE RATTLESNAKE MAKES A SPRING                         273

     XL AN INTERVIEW WITH LADY MARY                            280

    XLI MASTER RAYMOND IS ARRESTED FOR WITCHCRAFT              287

   XLII MASTER RAYMOND ASTONISHES THE MAGISTRATES              293

  XLIII WHY THOMAS PUTNAM WENT TO IPSWICH                      303

   XLIV HOW MASTER JOSEPH CIRCUMVENTED MISTRESS ANN            309

    XLV THE TWO PLOTTERS CONGRATULATE EACH OTHER               330

   XLVI MISTRESS ANN'S OPINION OF THE MATTER                   336

  XLVII MASTER RAYMOND VISITS LADY MARY                        343

 XLVIII CAPTAIN TOLLEY'S PROPOSITIONS                          351

   XLIX MASTER RAYMOND CONFOUNDS MASTER COTTON MATHER          355

      L BRINGING AFFAIRS TO A CRISIS                           366

     LI LADY MARY'S COUP D'ETAT                                371

    LII AN UNWILLING PARSON                                    385

   LIII THE WEDDING TRIP AND WHERE THEN                        394

    LIV SOME CONCLUDING REMARKS                                397



=Illustrations.=


                                                            Page.

STOOD UP SERENE BUT HEROIC                          FRONTISPIECE.

"THE LORD KNOWS THAT I HAVEN'T HURT THEM"                      68

MARCHED FROM JAIL FOR THE LAST TIME                           208



CHAPTER I.

Dulcibel Burton.


In the afternoon of a sunny Autumn day, nearly two hundred years ago, a
young man was walking along one of the newly opened roads which led into
Salem village, or what is now called Danvers Centre, in the then
Province of Massachusetts Bay.

The town of Salem, that which is now the widely known city of that name,
lay between four and five miles to the southeast, on a tongue of land
formed by two inlets of the sea, called now as then North and South
Rivers. Next to Plymouth it is the oldest town in New England, having
been first settled in 1626. Not till three years after were Boston and
Charlestown commenced by the arrival of eleven ships from England. It is
a significant fact, as showing the hardships to which the early settlers
were exposed, that of the fifteen hundred persons composing this Boston
expedition, two hundred died during the first winter. Salem has also the
honor of establishing the first New England church organization, in
1629, with the Reverend Francis Higginson as its pastor.

Salem village was an adjunct of Salem, the town taking in the adjacent
lands for the purpose of tillage to a distance of six miles from the
meeting-house. But in the progress of settlement, Salem village also
became entitled to a church of its own; and it had one regularly
established at the date of our story, with the Reverend Samuel Parris as
presiding elder or minister.

There had been many bickerings and disputes before a minister could be
found acceptable to all in Salem village. And the present minister was
by no means a universal favorite. The principal point of contention on
his part was the parsonage and its adjacent two acres of ground. Master
Parris claimed that the church had voted him a free gift of these; while
his opponents not only denied that it had been done, but that it
lawfully could be done. This latter view was undoubtedly correct; for
the parsonage land was a gift to the church, for the perpetual use of
its pastor, whosoever he might be. But Master Parris would not listen to
reason on this subject, and was not inclined to look kindly upon the men
who steadfastly opposed him.

The inhabitants of Salem village were a goodly as well as godly people,
but owing to these church differences about their ministers, as well as
other disputes and lawsuits relative to the bounds of their respective
properties, there was no little amount of ill feeling among them. Small
causes in a village are just as effective as larger ones in a nation, in
producing discord and strife; and the Puritans as a people were
distinguished by all that determination to insist upon their rights, and
that scorn of compromising difficulties, which men of earnest and honest
but narrow natures have manifested in all ages of the world. Selfishness
and uncharitableness are never so dangerous as when they assume the
character of a conscientious devotion to the just and the true.

But all this time the young man has been walking almost due north from
the meeting house in Salem village.

The road was not what would be called a good one in these days, for it
was not much more than a bridle-path; the riding being generally at that
time on horseback. But it was not the rather broken and uneven condition
of the path which caused the frown on the young pedestrian's face, or
the irritability shown by the sharp slashes of the maple switch in his
hand upon the aspiring weeds along the roadside.

"If ever mortal man was so bothered," he muttered at last, coming to a
stop. "Of course she is the best match, the other is below me, and has a
spice of Satan in her; but then she makes the blood stir in a man. Ha!"

This exclamation came as he lifted his eyes from the ground, and gazed
up the road before him. There, about half a mile distant, was a young
woman riding toward him. Then she stopped her horse under a tree, and
evidently was trying to break off a switch, while her horse pranced
around in a most excited fashion. The horse at last starts in a rapid
gallop. The young man sees that in trying to get the switch, she has
allowed the bridle to get loose and over the horse's head, and can no
longer control the fiery animal. Down the road towards him she comes in
a sharp gallop, striving to stop the animal with her voice, evidently
not the least frightened, but holding on to the pommel of the saddle
with one hand while she makes desperate grasps at the hanging rein with
the other.

The young Puritan smiled, he took in the situation with a glance, and
felt no fear for her but rather amusement. He was on the top of a steep
hill, and he knew he could easily stop the horse as it came up; even if
she did not succeed in regaining her bridle, owing to the better chances
the hill gave her.

"She is plucky, anyhow, if she is rather a tame wench," said he, as the
girl grasped the bridle rein at last, when about half way up the hill,
and became again mistress of the blooded creature beneath her.

"Is that the way you generally ride, Dulcibel?" asked the young man
smiling.

"It all comes from starting without my riding whip," replied the girl.
"Oh, do stop!" she continued to the horse who now on the level again,
began sidling and curveting.

"Give me that switch of yours, Jethro. Now, you shall see a miracle."

No sooner was the switch in her hand, than the aspect and behavior of
the animal changed as if by magic. You might have thought the little
mare had been raised in the enclosure of a Quaker meeting-house, so
sober and docile did she seem.

"It is always so," said the girl laughing. "The little witch knows at
once whether I have a whip with me or not, and acts accordingly. No, I
will not forgive you," and she gave the horse two or three sharp cuts,
which it took like a martyr. "Oh, I wish you would misbehave a little
now; I should like to punish you severely."

They made a very pretty picture, the little jet-black mare, and the
mistress with her scarlet paragon bodice, even if the latter was
entirely too pronounced for the taste of the great majority of the
inhabitants, young and old, of Salem village.

"But how do you happen to be here?" said the girl.

"I called to see you, and found you had gone on a visit to Joseph
Putnam's. So I thought I would walk up the road and meet you coming
back."

"What a sweet creature Mistress Putnam is, and both so young for man and
wife."

"Yes, Jo married early, but he is big enough and strong enough, don't
you think so?"

"He is a worshiped man indeed. Have you met the stranger yet?"

"That Ellis Raymond? No, but I hear he is something of a popinjay in his
attire, and swelled up with the conceit that he is better than any of us
colonists."

"I do not think so," and the girl's cheek colored a deeper red. "He
seems to be a very modest young man indeed. I liked him very much."

"Oh, well, I have not seen him yet. But they say his father was a son of
Belial, and fought under the tyrant at Naseby."

"But that is all over and his widowed mother is one of us."

"Hang him, what does it matter!" Then, changing his tone, and looking at
her a little suspiciously. "Did Leah Herrick say anything to you against
me the other night at the husking?"

"I do not allow people to talk to me against my friends," replied she
earnestly.

"She was talking to you a long time I saw."

"Yes."

"It must have been an interesting subject."

"It was rather an unpleasant one to me."

"Ah!"

"She wanted me to join the 'circle' which they have just started at the
minister's house. She says that old Tituba has promised to show them how
the Indians of Barbados conjure and powwow, and that it will be great
sport for the winter nights."

"What did you say to it?"

"I told her I would have nothing to do with such things; that I had no
liking for them, and that I thought it was wrong to tamper with such
matters."

"That was all she said to you?" and the young man seemed to breathe more
freely.

The girl was sharp-witted--what girl is not so in all affairs of the
heart?--and it was now her turn. "Leah is very handsome," she said.

"Yes--everybody says so," he replied coolly, as if it were a fact of
very little importance to him, and a matter which he had thought very
little about.

Dulcibel, was not one to aim all around the remark; she came at once,
simply and directly to the point.

"Did you ever pay her any attentions?"

"Oh, no, not to speak of. What made you think of such an absurd thing?"

"'Not to speak of'--what do you mean?"

"Oh, I kept company with her for awhile--before you came to Salem--when
we were merely boy and girl."

"There never was any troth plighted between you?"

"How foolish you are, Dulcibel! What has started you off on this
track?"

"Yourself. Answer me plainly. Was there ever any love compact between
you?"

"Oh, pshaw! what nonsense all this is!"

"If you do not answer me, I shall ask her this very evening."

"Of course there was nothing between us--nothing of any account--only a
boy and girl affair--calling her my little wife, and that kind of
nonsense."

"I think that a great deal. Did that continue up to the time I came to
the village?"

"How seriously you take it all! Remember, I have your promise,
Dulcibel."

"A promise on a promise is no promise--every girl knows that. If you do
not answer me fully and truly, Jethro, I shall ask Leah."

"Yes," said the young man desperately "there was a kind of childish
troth up to that time, but it was, as I said, a mere boy and girl
affair."

"Boy and girl! You were eighteen, Jethro; and she sixteen nearly as old
as Joseph Putnam and his wife were when they married."

"I do not care. I will not be bound by it; and Leah knows it."

"You acted unfairly toward me, Jethro. Leah has the prior right. I
recall my troth. I will not marry you without her consent."

"You will not!" said the young man passionately--for well he knew that
Leah's consent would never be given.

"No, I will not!"

"Then take your troth back in welcome. In truth, I met you here this day
to tell you that. I love Leah Herrick's little finger better than your
whole body with your Jezebel's bodice, and your fine lady's airs. You
had better go now and marry that conceited popinjay up at Jo Putnam's,
if you can get him."

With that he pushed off down the hill, and up the road, that he might
not be forced to accompany her back to the village.

Dulcibel was not prepared for such a burst of wrath, and such an
uncovering of the heart. Which of us has not been struck with wonder,
even far more than indignation, at such times? A sudden difference
occurs, and the man or the woman in whom you have had faith, and whom
you have believed noble and admirable, suddenly appears what he or she
really is, a very common and vulgar nature. It makes us sick at heart
that we could have been so deceived.

Such was the effect upon Dulcibel. What a chasm she had escaped. To
think she had really agreed to marry such a spirit as that! But
fortunately it was now all over.

She not only had lost a lover, but a friend. And one day before, this
also would have had its unpleasant side to her. But now she felt even a
sensation of relief. Was it because this very day a new vision had
entered into the charmed circle of her life? If it were so, she did not
acknowledge the fact to herself; or even wonder in her own mind, why the
sudden breaking of her troth-plight had not left her in a sadder humor.
For she put "Little Witch" into a brisk canter, and with a smile upon
her face rode into the main street of the village.



CHAPTER II.

In Which Some Necessary Information is Given.


Dulcibel Burton was an orphan. Her father becoming a little unsound in
doctrine, and being greatly pleased with the larger liberty of
conscience offered by William Penn to his colonists in Pennsylvania, had
leased his house and lands to a farmer by the name of Buckley, and
departed for Philadelphia. This was some ten years previous to the
opening of our story. After living happily in Philadelphia for about
eight years he died suddenly, and his wife decided to return to her old
home in Salem village, having arranged to board with Goodman Buckley,
whose lease had not yet expired. But in the course of the following
winter she also died, leaving this only child, Dulcibel, now a beautiful
girl of eighteen years. Dulcibel, as was natural, went on living with
the Buckleys, who had no children of their own, and were very
good-hearted and affectionate people.

Dulcibel therefore was an heiress, in a not very large way, besides
having wealthy relatives in England, from some of whom in the course of
years more or less might reasonably be expected. And as our Puritan
ancestors were by no means blind to their worldly interests, believing
that godliness had the promise of this world as well as that which is to
come--the bereaved maiden became quite an object of interest to the
young men of the vicinity.

I have called her beautiful, and not without good reason. With the old
manuscript volume--a family heirloom of some Quaker friends of
mine--from which I have drawn the facts of this narrative, came also an
old miniature, the work of a well-known English artist of that period.
The colors have faded considerably, but the general contour and the
features are well preserved. The face is oval, with a rather higher and
fuller forehead than usual; the hair, which was evidently of a rather
light brown, being parted in the center, and brought down with a little
variation from the strict Madonna fashion. The eyes are large, and blue.
The lips rather full. A snood or fillet of blue ribbon confined her
luxuriant hair. In form she was rather above the usual height of women,
and slender as became her age; though with a perceptible tendency
towards greater fullness with increasing years.

There is rather curiously a great resemblance between this miniature,
and a picture I have in my possession of the first wife of a celebrated
New England poet. He himself being named for one of the Judges who sat
in the Special Court appointed for the trial of the alleged witches, it
would be curious if the beautiful and angelic wife of his youth were
allied by blood to one of those who had the misfortune to come under the
ban of witchcraft.

Being both beautiful and an heiress, Dulcibel naturally attracted the
attention of her near neighbor in the village, Jethro Sands. Jethro was
quite a handsome young man after a certain style, though, as his life
proved, narrow minded, vindictive and avaricious. Still he had a high
reputation as a young man with the elders of the village; for he had
early seen how advantageous it was to have a good standing in the
church, and was very orthodox in his faith, and very regular in his
attendance at all the church services. Besides, he was a staunch
champion of the Reverend Mr. Parris in all his difficulties with the
parish, and in return was invariably spoken of by the minister as one of
the most promising young men in that neighborhood.

Jethro resided with his aunt, the widow Sands. She inherited from her
husband the whole of his property. His deed for the land narrated that
the boundary line ran "from an old dry stump, due south, to the
southwest corner of his hog-pen, then east by southerly to the top of
the hill near a little pond, then north by west to the highway side, and
thence along the highway to the old dry stump again aforesaid." There is
a tradition in the village that by an adroit removal of his hog-pen to
another location, and the uprooting and transplanting of the old dry
stump, at a time when nobody seemed to take a very active interest in
the adjoining land, owing to its title being disputed in successive
lawsuits, Jethro, who inherited at the death of his aunt, became the
possessor of a large tract of land that did not originally belong to
him. But then such stories are apt to crop up after the death of every
man who has acquired the reputation of being crafty and close in his
dealings.

We left Jethro, after his interview with Dulcibel, walking on in order
that he might avoid her further company. After going a short distance he
turned and saw that she was riding rapidly homeward. Then he began to
retrace his steps.

"It was bound to come," he muttered. "I have seen she was getting cold
and thought it was Leah's work, but it seems she was true to her promise
after all. Well, Leah is poor, and not of so good a family, but she is
worth a dozen of such as Dulcibel Burton."

Then after some minutes' silent striding, "I hate her though for it, all
the same. Everybody will know she has thrown me off. But nobody shall
get ahead of Jethro Sands in the long run. I'll make her sorry for it
before she dies, the spoiled brat of a Quaker infidel!"



CHAPTER III.

The Circle in the Minister's House.


It would, perhaps be unfair to hold the Reverend Master Parris
responsible for the wild doings that went on in the parsonage house
during the winter evenings of 1691-2, in the face of his solemn
assertion, made several years afterwards, that he was ignorant of them.
And yet, how could such things have been without the knowledge either of
himself or his wife? Mistress Parris has come down to us with the
reputation of a kindly and discreet woman--nothing having been said to
her discredit, so far as I am aware, even by those who had a bitter
controversy with her husband. And yet she certainly must have known of
the doings of the famous "circle," even if she refrained from speaking
of them to her husband.

At the very bottom of the whole thing, perhaps, were the West Indian
slaves--"John Indias" and his wife Tituba, whom Master Parris had
brought with him from Barbados. There were two children in the house, a
little daughter of nine, named Elizabeth; and Abigail Williams, three
years older. These very probably, Tituba often had sought to impress, as
is the manner of negro servants, with tales of witchcraft, the
"evil-eye" and "evil hand" spirits, powwowing, etc. Ann Putnam, another
precocious child of twelve, the daughter of a near neighbor, Sergeant
Putnam, the parish clerk, also was soon drawn into the knowledge of the
savage mysteries. And, before very long, a regular "circle" of these and
older girls was formed for the purpose of amusing and startling
themselves with the investigation and performance of forbidden things.

At the present day this would not be so reprehensible. We are
comparatively an unbelieving generation; and what are called "spiritual
circles" are common, though not always unattended with mischievous
results. But at that time when it was considered a deadly sin to seek
intercourse with those who claimed to have "a familiar spirit," that
such practices should be allowed to go on for a whole winter, in the
house of a Puritan minister, seems unaccountable. But the fact itself is
undoubted, and the consequences are written in mingled tears and blood
upon the saddest pages of the history of New England.

Among the members of this "circle" were Mary Walcott, aged seventeen,
the daughter of Captain Walcott; Elizabeth Hubbard and Mercy Lewis, also
seventeen; Elizabeth Booth and Susannah Sheldon, aged eighteen; and Mary
Warren, Sarah Churchhill and Leah Herrick, aged twenty; these latter
being the oldest of the party. They were all the daughters of
respectable and even leading men, with the exception of Mercy Lewis,
Mary Warren, Leah Herrick and Sarah Churchhill, who were living out as
domestics, but who seem to have visited as friends and equals the other
girls in the village. In fact, it was not considered at that time
degrading in country neighborhoods--perhaps it is not so now in many
places--for the sons and daughters of men of respectability, and even of
property, to occupy the position of "help" or servant, eating at the
same table with, and being considered members of the family. In the case
before us, Mercy Lewis, Mary Warren and Sarah Churchhill seem to have
been among the most active and influential members of the party. Though
Abigail Williams, the minister's niece, and Ann Putnam, only eleven and
twelve years of age respectively, proved themselves capable of an
immense deal of mischief.

What the proceedings of these young women actually were, neither
tradition nor any records that I have met with, informs us; but the
result was even worse than could have been expected. By the close of the
winter they had managed to get their nervous systems, their
imaginations, and their minds and hearts, into a most dreadful
condition. If they had regularly sold themselves to be the servants of
the Evil One, as was then universally believed to be possible--and which
may really be possible, for anything I know to the contrary--their
condition could hardly have been worse than it was. They were liable to
sudden faintings of an unnatural character, to spasmodic movements and
jerkings of the head and limbs, to trances, to the seeing of witches and
devils, to deafness, to dumbness, to alarming outcries, to impudent and
lying speeches and statements, and to almost everything else that was
false, irregular and unnatural.

Some of these things were doubtless involuntary but the voluntary and
involuntary seemed to be so mingled in their behavior, that it was
difficult sometimes to determine which was one and which the other. The
moral sense seemed to have become confused, if not utterly lost for the
time.

They were full of tricks. They stuck concealed pins into their bodies,
and accused others of doing it--their contortions and trances were to a
great extent mere shams--they lied without scruple--they bore false
witness, and what in many, if not most, cases they knew was false
witness, against not only those to whom they bore ill will but against
the most virtuous and kindly women of the neighborhood; and if the
religious delusion had taken another shape, and we see no reason why it
should not have done so, and put the whole of them on trial as seekers
after "familiar spirits" and condemned the older girls to death, there
would at least have been some show of justice in the proceedings; while,
as it is, there is not a single ray of light to illuminate the judicial
gloom.

When at last Mr. Parris and Thomas Putnam became aware of the condition
of their children, they called in the village physician, Dr. Griggs. The
latter, finding he could do nothing with his medicines, gave it as his
opinion that they were "under an evil hand"--the polite medical phrase
of that day, for being bewitched.

That important point being settled, the next followed of course, "Who
has bewitched them?" The children being asked said, "Tituba."



CHAPTER IV.

Satan's Especial Grudge against Our Puritan Fathers.


"Tituba!" And who else? Why need there have been anybody else? Why could
not the whole thing have stopped just there? No doubt Tituba was guilty,
if any one was. But Tituba escaped, by shrewdly also becoming an
accuser.

"Who else?" This set the children's imagination roving. Their first
charges were not so unreasonable. Why, the vagrant Sarah Good, a social
outcast, wandering about without any settled habitation; and Sarah
Osburn, a bed-ridden woman, half distracted by family troubles who had
seen better days. There the truth was out. Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah
Osburn were the agents of the devil in this foul attempt against the
peace of the godly inhabitants of Salem village.

For it was a common belief even amongst the wisest and best of our
Puritan fathers, that the devil had a special spite against the New
England colonies. They looked at it in this way. He had conquered in
the fight against the Lord in the old world. He was the supreme and
undoubted lord of the "heathen salvages" in the new. Now that the
Puritan forces had commenced an onslaught upon him in the western
hemisphere, to which he had an immemorial right as it were, could it be
wondered at that he was incensed beyond all calculation? Was he, after
having Europe, Asia and Africa, to be driven out of North America by a
small body of steeple-hatted, psalm-singing, and conceited Puritans? No
wonder his satanic ire was aroused; and that he was up to all manner of
devices to harass, disorganize and afflict the camp of his enemies.

I am afraid this seems a little ridiculous to readers nowadays; but to
the men and women of two hundred years ago it was grim and sober
earnest, honestly and earnestly believed in.

Who, in the face of such wonderful changes in our religious views, can
venture to predict what will be the belief of our descendants two
hundred years hence?



CHAPTER V.

Leah Herrick's Position and Feelings.


I have classed Leah Herrick among the domestics; but her position was
rather above that. She had lived with the Widow Sands, Jethro's aunt,
since she had been twelve years old, assisting in the housework, and
receiving her board and clothing in return. Now, at the age of twenty,
she was worth more than that recompense; but she still remained on the
old terms, as if she were a daughter instead of a servant.

She remained, asking nothing more, because she had made up her mind to
be Jethro's wife. She had a passion for Jethro, and she knew that Jethro
reciprocated it. But his aunt, who was ambitious, wished him to look
higher; and therefore did not encourage such an alliance. Leah was
however too valuable and too cheap an assistant to be dispensed with,
and thus removed from such a dangerous proximity, besides the widow
really had no objection to her, save on account of her poverty.

Leah said nothing when she saw that Jethro's attentions were directed in
another direction; but without saying anything directly to Dulcibel,
she contrived to impress her with the fact that she had trespassed upon
her rightful domain. For Leah was a cat; and amidst her soft purrings,
she would occasionally put out her velvety paw, and give a wicked little
scratch that made the blood come, and so softly and innocently too, that
the sufferer could hardly take offence at it.

Between these sharp intimations of Leah, and the unpleasant revelations
of the innate hardness of the young man's character, which resulted from
the closer intimacy of a betrothal, Dulcibel's affection had been
gradually cooling for several months. But although the longed-for
estrangement between the two had at length taken place, Leah did not
feel quite safe yet; for the Widow Sands was very much put out about it,
and censured her nephew for his want of wisdom in not holding Dulcibel
to her engagement. "She has a good house and farm already, and she will
be certain to receive much more on the death of her bachelor uncle in
England," said the aunt sharply. "You must strive to undo that foolish
hour's work. It was only a tiff on her part, and you should have cried
your eyes out if necessary."

And so Leah, thinking in her own heart that Jethro was a prize for any
girl, was in constant dread of a renewal of the engagement, and ready to
go to any length to prevent it.

Although a member of the "circle" that met at the minister's house, Leah
was not so regular an attendant as the others; for there were no men
there and she never liked to miss the opportunity of a private
conversation with Jethro, opportunities which were somewhat limited,
owing to the continual watchfulness of her mistress. Still she went
frequently enough to be fully imbued with the spirit of their doings,
while not becoming such a victim as most of them were to disordered
nerves, and an impaired and confused mental and moral constitution.



CHAPTER VI.

A Disorderly Scene in Church.


If anything were needed to add to the excitement which the condition of
the "afflicted children," as they were generally termed, naturally
produced in Salem village and the adjoining neighborhood, it was a scene
in the village church one Sunday morning.

The church was a low, small structure, with rough, unplastered roof and
walls, and wooden benches instead of pews. The sexes were divided, the
men sitting on one side and the women on the other, but each person in
his or her regular and appointed seat.

It was the custom at that time to select a seating committee of
judicious and careful men, whose very important duty it was to seat the
congregation. In doing this they proceeded on certain well-defined
principles.

The front seats were to be filled with the older members of the
congregation, a due reverence for age, as well as for the fact that
these were more apt to be weak of sight and infirm of hearing,
necessitated this. Then came the elders and deacons of the church; then
the wealthier citizens of the parish; then the younger people and the
children.

The Puritan fathers had their faults; but they never would have
tolerated the fashionable custom of these days, whereby the wealthy,
without regard to their age, occupy the front pews; and the poorer
members, no matter how aged, or infirm of sight or hearing are often
forced back where they can neither see the minister nor hear the sermon.
And one can imagine in what forcible terms they would have denounced
some city meeting-houses of the present era where the church is regarded
somewhat in the light of an opera house, and the doors of the pews kept
locked and closed until those who have purchased the right to reserved
seats shall have had the first chance to enter.

The Reverend Master Lawson, a visiting elder, was the officiating
minister on the Sunday to which we have referred. The psalm had been
sung after the opening prayer and the minister was about to come forward
to give his sermon, when, before he could rise from his seat, Abigail
Williams, the niece of the Reverend Master Parris, only twelve years
old, and one of the "circle" cried out loudly:--"Now stand up and name
your text!"

When he had read the text, she exclaimed insolently, "It's a long text."
And then when he was referring to his doctrine, she said:--"I know no
doctrine you mentioned. If you named any, I have forgotten it."

And then when he had concluded, she cried out, "Look! there sits Goody
Osburn upon the beam, suckling her yellow-bird betwixt her fingers."

Then Ann Putnam, that other child of twelve, joined in; "There flies the
yellow-bird to the minister's hat, hanging on the pin in the pulpit."

Of course such disorderly proceedings produced a great excitement in the
congregation; but the two children do not appear to have been rebuked by
either of the ministers, or by any of the officers of the church; it
seeming to have been the general conclusion that they were not
responsible for what they said, but were constrained by an irresistible
and diabolical influence. In truth, the children were regarded with awe
and pity instead of reproof and blame, and therefore naturally felt
encouraged to further efforts in the same direction.

I have said that this was the general feeling, but that feeling was not
universal. Several of the members, notably young Joseph Putnam, Francis
Nurse and Peter Cloyse were very much displeased at the toleration shown
to such disorderly doings, and began to absent themselves from public
worship, with the result of incurring the anger of the children, who
were rapidly assuming the role of destroying angels to the people of
Salem village and its vicinity.

As fasting and prayer were the usual resources of our Puritan fathers in
difficulties, these were naturally resorted to at once upon this
occasion. The families to which the "afflicted children" belonged
assembled the neighbors--who had also fasted--and, under the guidance of
the Reverend Master Parris, besought the Lord to deliver them from the
power of the Evil One. These were exciting occasions, for, whenever
there was a pause in the proceedings, such of the "afflicted" as were
present would break out into demoniac howlings, followed by contortions
and rigid trances, which, in the words of our manuscript, were "enough
to make the devil himself weep."

These village prayers, however, seeming to be insufficient, Master
Parris called a meeting of the neighboring ministers; but the prayers of
these also had no effect. The "children" even surpassed themselves on
this occasion. The ministers could not doubt the evidence of their own
reverend eyes and ears, and united in the declaration of their belief
that Satan had been let loose in this little Massachusetts village, to
confound and annoy the godly, to a greater extent than they had ever
before known or heard of. And now that the ministers had spoken, it was
almost irreligious and atheistical for others to express any doubt. For
if the ministers could not speak with authority in a case of this kind,
which seemed to be within their peculiar field and province, what was
their judgment worth upon any matter?



CHAPTER VII.

A Conversation with Dulcibel.


As Dulcibel sat in the little room which she had furnished in a pretty
but simple way for a parlor, some days after the meeting of the
ministers, her thoughts naturally dwelt upon all these exciting events
which were occurring around her. It was an April day, and the snow had
melted earlier than usual, and it seemed as if the spring might be an
exceptionally forward one. The sun was pleasantly warm, and the wind
blowing soft and gently from the south; and a canary bird in the rustic
cage that hung on the wall was singing at intervals a hymn of rejoicing
at the coming of the spring. The bird was one that had been given her by
a distinguished sea-captain of Boston town, who had brought it home from
the West Indies. Dulcibel had tamed and petted it, until she could let
it out from the cage and allow it to fly around the room; then, at the
words, "Come Cherry," as she opened the little door of the cage, the
bird would fly in again, knowing that he would be rewarded for his good
conduct with a little piece of sweet cake.

Cherry would perch on her finger and sing his prettiest strains on some
occasions; and at others eat out of her hand. But his prettiest feat was
to kiss his mistress by putting his little beak to her lips, when she
would say in a caressing tone, "Kiss me, pretty Cherry."

After playing with the canary for a little while, Dulcibel sighed and
put him back in his cage, hearing a knock at the front door of the
cottage. And she had just turned from the cage to take a seat, when the
door opened and two persons entered.

"I am glad to see you, friends," she said calmly, inviting them to be
seated.

It was Joseph Putnam, accompanied by his friend and visitor, Ellis
Raymond, the young man of whom Dulcibel had spoken to Jethro Sands.

Joseph Putnam was one of that somewhat distinguished family from whom
came the Putnams of Revolutionary fame; Major-General Israel Putnam, the
wolf-slayer, being one of his younger children. He, the father I mean,
was a man of fine, athletic frame, not only of body but of mind. He was
one of the very few in Salem village who despised the whole
witch-delusion from the beginning. He did not disbelieve in the
existence of witches--or that the devil was tormenting the "afflicted
children"--but that faith should be put in their wild stories was quite
another matter.

Of his companion, Master Ellis Raymond, I find no other certain account
anywhere than in my Quaker friend's manuscript. From the little that is
there given of personal description I have only the three phrases "a
comelie young man," "a very quick-witted person," "a very determined and
courageous man," out of which to build a physical and spiritual
description. And so I think it rather safer to leave the portraiture to
the imagination of my readers.

"Do you expect to remain long in Salem?" asked Dulcibel.

"I do not know yet," was the reply. "I came that I might see what
prospects the new world holds out to young men."

"I want Master Raymond to purchase the Orchard Farm, and settle down
among us," said Joseph Putnam. "It can be bought I think."

"I have heard people say the price is a very high one," said Dulcibel.

"It is high but the land is worth the money. In twenty years it will
seem very low. My father saw the time when a good cow was worth as much
as a fifty-acre farm, but land is continually rising in value."

"I shall look farther south before deciding," said Raymond. "I am told
the land is better there; besides there are too many witches here," and
he smiled.

"We have been up to see my brother Thomas," continued Joseph Putnam. "He
always has had the reputation of being a sober-headed man, but he is all
off his balance now."

"What does Mistress Putnam say?" asked Dulcibel.

"Oh, she is at the bottom of all his craziness, she and that elfish
daughter. Sister Ann is a very intelligent woman in some respects, but
she is wild upon this question."

"I am told by the neighbors that the child is greatly afflicted."

"She came in the room while we were there," responded Master Raymond. "I
knew not what to make of it. She flung herself down on the floor, she
crept under the table, she shrieked, she said Goody Osburn was sticking
pins in her, and wound up by going into convulsions."

"What can it all mean?--it is terrible," said Dulcibel.

"Well, the Doctor says she is suffering under an 'evil hand,' and the
ministers have given their solemn opinion that she is bewitched; and
brother Thomas and Sister Ann, and about all the rest of the family
agree with them."

"I am afraid it will go hard with those two old women," interposed Ellis
Raymond.

"They will hang them as sure as they are tried," answered Joseph Putnam.
"Not that it makes much difference, for neither of them is much to speak
of; but they have a right to a fair trial nevertheless, and they cannot
get such a thing just now in Salem village.

"I can hardly believe there are such things as witches," said Dulcibel,
"and if there are, I do not believe the good Lord would allow them to
torment innocent children."

"Oh, I don't know that it will do to say there are no witches," replied
Joseph Putnam gravely. "It seems to me we must give up the Bible if we
say that. For the Old Testament expressly commands that we must not
suffer a witch to live; and it would be absurd to give such a command if
there were no such persons as witches."

"I suppose it must be so," admitted Dulcibel, with a deep sigh.

"And then again in the New Testament we have continual references to
persons possessed with devils, and others who had familiar spirits, and
if such persons existed then, why not now?"

"Oh, of course, it is so," again admitted Dulcibel with even a deeper
sigh than before.

But even in that day, outside of the Puritan and other religious bodies,
there were unbelievers; and Ellis Raymond had allowed himself to smile
once or twice, unperceived by the others, during their conversation.
Thus we read in the life of that eminent jurist, the Honorable Francis
North, who presided at a trial for witchcraft about ten years before the
period of which we are writing, that he looked upon the whole thing as a
vulgar delusion, though he said it was necessary to be very careful to
conceal such opinions from the juries of the time, or else they would
set down the judges at once as irreligious persons, and bring in the
prisoners guilty.

"I am not so certain of it," said Ellis Raymond.

"How! What do you mean, Master Raymond?" exclaimed Joseph Putnam; like
all his family, he was orthodox to the bone in his opinions.

"My idea is that in the old times they supposed all distracted and
insane people--especially the violent ones, the maniacs--to be possessed
with devils."

"Do you think so?" queried Dulcibel in a glad voice, a light seeming to
break in upon her.

"Well, I take it for granted that there were plenty of insane people in
the old times as there are now; and yet I see no mention of them as
such, in either the Old or the New Testament."

"I never thought of that before; it seems to me a very reasonable
explanation, does it not strike you so, Master Putnam?"

"So reasonable, that it reasons away all our faith in the absolute
truthfulness of every word of the holy scriptures," replied Joseph
Putnam sternly. "Do you suppose the Evangelists, when they spoke of
persons having 'familiar spirits,' and being 'possessed of devils,' did
not know what they were talking about? I would rather believe that every
insane person now is possessed with a devil, and that such is the true
explanation of his or her insanity, than to fly in the face of the holy
scriptures as you do, Master Raymond."

Dulcibel's countenance fell. "Yes," she responded in reverential tones,
"the holy Evangelists must know best. If they said so, it must be so."

"You little orthodox darling!" thought young Master Raymond, gazing upon
her beautiful sad face. But of course he did not express himself to such
an effect, except by his gaze; and Dulcibel happening to look up and
catch the admiring expression of two clear brown eyes, turned her own
instantly down again, while a faint blush mantled her cheeks.

The young Englishman knew that in arousing such heterodox opinions he
was getting on dangerous ground. For expressing not a greater degree of
heresy than he had uttered, other men and even women had been turned
neck and heels out of the Puritan settlements. And as he had no desire
to leave Salem just at present, he began to "hedge" a little, as betting
men sometimes say.

"Insane people, maniacs especially, do sometimes act as if they were
possessed of the devil," he said frankly. "And no doubt their insanity
is often the result of the sinful indulgence of their wicked
propensities and passions."

"Yes, that seems to be very reasonable," said Dulcibel. "Every sinful
act seems to me a yielding to the evil one, and such yielding becoming
common, he may at least be able to enter into the soul, and take
absolute possession of it. Oh, it is very fearful!" and she shuddered.

"But I find one opinion almost universal in Salem," continued Raymond,
"and that is one which I think has no ground to sustain it in the
scriptures, and is very mischievous. It is that the devil cannot act
directly upon human beings to afflict and torment them; but that he is
forced to have recourse to the agency of other human beings, who have
become his worshipers and agents. Thus in the cases of these children
and young girls, instead of admitting that the devil and his imps are
directly afflicting them, they begin to look around for witches and
wizards as the sources of the trouble."

"Yes," responded Joseph Putnam earnestly, "that false and unscriptural
doctrine is the source of all the trouble. That little Ann Putnam,
Abigail Williams and the others are bewitched, may perhaps be true--a
number of godly ministers say so, and they ought to know. But, if they
are bewitched, it is the devil and his imps that have done it. If they
are 'possessed with devils'--and does not that scripture mean that the
devils directly take possession of them--what is their testimony worth
against others? It is nearly the testimony of Satan and his imps,
speaking through them. While they are in that state, their evidence
should not be allowed credence by any magistrate, any more than the
devil's should."

It seems very curious to those of the present day who have investigated
this matter of witch persecutions, that such a sound and orthodox view
as this of Joseph Putnam's should have had such little weight with the
judges and ministers and other leading men of the seventeenth century.
While a few urged it, even as Joseph Putnam did, at the risk of his own
life, the great majority not only of the common people but of the
leading classes, regarded it as unsound and irreligious. But the whole
history of the world proves that the _vox populi_ is very seldom the
_vox Dei_. The light shines down from the rising sun in the heavens, and
the mountain tops first receive the rays. The last new truth is always
first perceived by the small minority of superior minds and souls. How
indeed could it be otherwise, so long as truth like light always shines
down from above?

"Have you communicated this view to your brother and sister?" asked
Dulcibel.

"I have talked with them for a whole evening, but I do think Sister Ann
is possessed too," replied Joseph Putnam. "She fairly raves sometimes.
You know how bitterly she feels about that old church quarrel, when a
small minority of the Parish succeeded in preventing the permanent
settlement of her sister's husband as minister. She seems to have the
idea that all that party are emissaries of Satan. I do not wonder her
little girl should be so nervous and excitable, being the child of such
a nervous, high-strung woman. But I am going to see them again this
afternoon; will you go too, Master Raymond?'

"I think not," replied the latter with a smile, "I should do harm, I
fear, instead of good. I will stay here and talk with Mistress Dulcibel
a little while longer."

Master Putnam departed, and then the conversation became of a lighter
character. The young Englishman told Dulcibel of his home in the old
world, and of his travels in France and Switzerland. And they talked of
all those little things which young people will--little things, but
which afford constant peeps into each other's mind and heart. Dulcibel
thought she had never met such a cultivated young man, although she had
read of such; and he felt very certain that he never met with such a
lovely young woman. Not that she was over intelligent--one of those
precociously "smart" young women that, thanks to the female colleges and
the "higher culture" are being "developed" in such alarming numbers
nowadays. If she had been such a being, I fancy Master Raymond would
have found her less attractive. Ah, well, after a time perhaps, we of
the present day shall have another craze--that of barbarism--in which
the "coming woman" shall pride herself mainly upon possessing a strong,
healthy and vigorous physical organization, developed within the
feminine lines of beauty, and only a reasonable degree of intelligence
and "culture." And then I hope we shall see the last of walking female
encyclopedias, with thin waists, and sickly and enfeebled bodies; fit to
be the mothers only of a rapidly dwindling race, even if they have the
wish and power to become mothers at all.

I am not much of a believer in love at first sight, but certainly
persons may become very much interested in each other after a few hours'
conversation; and so it was in the case before us. When Ellis Raymond
took up his hat, and then lingered minute after minute, as if he could
not bring himself to the point of departure, he simply manifested anew
to the maiden what his tones and looks had been telling her for an hour,
that he admired her very greatly.

"Come soon again," Dulcibel said softly, as the young man managed to
open the door at last, and make his final adieu. "And indeed I shall if
you will permit me," was his earnest response.

But some fair reader may ask, "What were these two doing during all the
winter, that they had not seen each other?"

I answer that Dulcibel had withdrawn from the village gatherings since
the breaking of the engagement with Jethro. At the best, it was an
acknowledgment that she had been too hasty in a matter that she should
not have allowed herself to fail in; and she felt humbled under the
thought. Besides, it seemed to her refined and sensitive nature only
decorous that she should withdraw for a time into the seclusion of her
own home under such circumstances.

As for the village gossips, they entirely misinterpreted her conduct.
Inasmuch as Jethro went around as usual, and put a bold face upon the
matter, they came to the conclusion that he had thrown her off, and that
she was moping at home, because she felt the blow so keenly.

Thus it was that while the young Englishman had attended many social
gatherings during the winter he had never met the one person whom he was
especially desirous of again meeting.

One little passage of the conversation between the two it may be well
however to refer to expressly for its bearing upon a very serious
matter. Raymond had mentioned that he had not seen her recently flying
around on that little jet black horse, and had asked whether she still
owned it.

"Oh, yes," replied Dulcibel; "I doubt that I should be able to sell
Little Witch if I wished to do so."

"Ah, how is that? She seems to be a very fine riding beast."

"She is, very! But you have not heard that I am the only one that has
ever ridden her or that can ride her."

"Indeed! that is curious."

I have owned her from a little colt. She was never broken to harness;
and no one, as I said, has ever ridden her but me. So that now if any
other person, man or woman, attempts to do so, she will not allow it.
She rears, she plunges, and finally as a last resort, if necessary, lies
down on the ground and refuses to stir. "Why, that is very flattering
to you, Dulcibel," said Raymond smiling. "I never knew an animal of
better taste."

"That may be," replied the maiden blushing; "but you see how it is that
I shall never be able to sell Little Witch if I desire to do so. She is
not worth her keep to any one but me."

"Little Witch! Why did you ever give her a name like that?"

"Oh, I was a mere child--and my father, who had been a sea-captain, and
all over the world, did not believe in witches. He named her "Little
Witch" because she was so black, and so bent on her own way. But I must
change her name now that people are talking so about witches. In truth
my mother never liked it."



CHAPTER VIII.

An Examination of Reputed Witches.


Warrants had been duly issued against Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn, and the
Indian woman Tituba, and they were now to be tried for the very serious
offence of bewitching the "afflicted children."

One way that the witches of that day were supposed to work, was to make
images out of rags, like dolls, which they named for the persons they
meant to torment. Then, by sticking pins and needles into the dolls,
tightening cords around their throats, and similar doings, the witches
caused the same amount of pain as if they had done it to the living
objects of their enmity.

In these cases, the officers who executed the warrants of arrest, stated
"that they had made diligent search for images and such like, but could
find none."

On the day appointed for the examination of these poor women, the two
leading magistrates of the neighborhood, John Hathorne and Jonathan
Corwin, rode up the principal street of the village attended by the
marshal and constables, in quite an imposing array. The crowd was so
great that they had to hold the session in the meeting-house The
magistrates belonged to the highest legislative and judicial body in the
colony. Hathorne, as the name was then spelt, was the ancestor of the
gifted author, Nathaniel Hawthorne--the alteration in the spelling of
the name probably being made to make it conform more nearly to the
pronunciation. Hathorne was a man of force and ability--though evidently
also as narrow-minded and unfair as only a bigot can be. All through the
examination that ensued he took a leading part, and with him, to be
accused was to be set down at once as guilty. Never, among either
Christian or heathen people, was there a greater travesty of justice
than these examinations and trials for witchcraft, conducted by the very
foremost men of the Massachusetts colony.

The accounts of the examination of these three women in the manuscript
book I have alluded to, are substantially the same as in the official
records, which are among those that have been preserved. I will give
some quotations to show how the examinations were conducted:--

"Sarah Good, what evil spirit are you familiar with?"

She answered sharply, "None!"

"Have you made no contracts with the Devil?"

"No!"

"Why then do you hurt these children?"

"I do not hurt them. I would scorn to do it."

"Here the children who were facing her, began to be dreadfully
tormented; and then when their torments were over for the time, again
accused her, and also Sarah Osburn.

"Sarah Good, why do you not tell us the truth? Why do you thus torment
them?"

"I do not torment them."

"Who then does torment them?"

"It may be that Sarah Osburn does, for I do not."

"Her answers," says the official report, "were very quick, sharp and
malignant."

It must be remembered in reading these reports, that the accused were
not allowed any counsel, either at the preliminary examinations, or on
the trials; that the apparent sufferings of the children were very
great, producing almost a frenzied state of feeling in the crowd who
looked on; and that they themselves were often as much puzzled as their
accusers, to account for what was taking place before their eyes.

In the examination of Sarah Osburn, we have similar questions and
similar answers. In addition, however, three witnesses alleged that she
had said that very morning, that she was "more like to be bewitched
herself." Mr. Hathorne asked why she said that. She answered that either
she saw at one time, or dreamed that she saw, a thing like an Indian,
all black, which did pinch her in the neck, and pulled her by the back
part of the head to the door of the house. And there was also a lying
spirit.

"What lying spirit was this?"

"It was a voice that I thought I heard."

"What did it say to you?"

"That I should go no more to meeting; but I said I would, and did go the
next Sabbath day."

"Were you ever tempted further?"

"No."

"Why did you yield then to the Devil, not to go to meeting for the last
three years?"

"Alas! I have been sick all that time, and not able to go."

Then Tituba was brought in. Tituba was in the "circle" or an attendant
and inspirer of the "circle" from the first; and had marvelous things to
tell. How it was that the "children" turned against her and accused her,
I do not know; but probably she had practised so much upon them in
various ways, that she really was guilty of trying to do the things she
was charged with.

"Tituba, why do you hurt these children?"

"Tituba does not hurt 'em."

"Who does hurt them then?"

"The debbil, for all I knows.'

"Did you ever see the Devil?" Tituba gave a low laugh. "Of course I've
seen the debbil. The debbil came an' said, 'Serb me, Tituba.' But I
would not hurt the child'en."

"Who else have you seen?"

"Four women. Goody Osburn and Sarah Good, and two other women. Dey all
hurt de child'en."

"How does the Devil appear to you?"

"Sometimes he is like a dog, and sometimes like a hog. The black dog
always goes with a yellow bird."

"Has the Devil any other shapes?"

"Yes, he sometimes comes as a red cat, and then a black cat."

"And they all tell you to hurt the children?"

"Yes, but I said I would not."

"Did you not pinch Elizabeth Hubbard this morning?"

"The black man brought me to her, and made me pinch her."

"Why did you go to Thomas Putnam's last night and hurt his daughter
Ann?"

"He made me go."

"How did you go?"

"We rode on sticks; we soon got there."

"Has Sarah Good any familiar?"

"Yes, a yeller bird. It sucks her between her fingers. And Sarah Osburn
has a thing with a head like a woman, and it has two wings."

("Abigail Williams, who lives with her uncle, the Rev. Master Parris,
here testified that she did see the same creature, and it turned into
the shape of Goody Osburn.")

"Tituba further said that she had also seen a hairy animal with Goody
Osburn, that had only two legs, and walked like a man. And that she saw
Sarah Good, last Saturday, set a wolf upon Elizabeth Hubbard."

("The friends of Elizabeth Hubbard here said that she did complain of
being torn by a wolf on that day.")

"Tituba being asked further to describe her ride to Thomas Putnam's, for
the purpose of tormenting his daughter Ann, said that she rode upon a
stick or pole, and Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn behind her, all taking
hold of one another. Did not know how it was done, for she saw no trees
nor path, but was presently there."

These examinations were continued for several days, each of the accused
being brought at various times before the magistrates, who seem to have
taken great interest in the absurd stories with which the "afflicted
children" and Tituba regaled them. Finally, all three of the accused
were committed to Boston jail, there to await their trial for practising
witchcraft; being heavily ironed, as, being witches, it was supposed to
be very difficult to keep them from escaping; and as their ability to
torment people with their spectres, was considered lessened in
proportion to the weight and tightness of the chains with which they
were fettered. It is not to be wondered at, that under these
inflictions, at the end of two months, the invalid, Sarah Osburn, died.
Tituba, however, lay in jail until, finally, at the expiration of a year
and a month, she was sold in payment of her jail fees. One account
saying that her owner, the Rev. Master Parris, refused to pay her jail
fees, unless she would still adhere to what she had testified on her
examination, instead of alleging that he whipped and otherwise abused
her, to make her confess that she was a witch.



CHAPTER IX.

One Hundred and Fifty More Alleged Witches.


Ah this was bad enough, but it was but the beginning of trouble. Tituba
had spoken of two other women, but had given no names. The "afflicted
children" were still afflicted, and growing worse, instead of better.
The Rev. Master Noyes of Salem town, the Rev. Master Parris of Salem
village, Sergeant Thomas Putnam, and his wife,--which last also was
becoming bewitched, and had many old enmities--and many other
influential people and church members, were growing more excited, and
vindictive against the troubles of their peace, with every passing day.

"Who are they that still torment you in this horrible manner?" was the
question asked of the children and young women, and they had their
answers ready.

There had been an old quarrel between the Endicotts and the Nurses, a
family which owned the Bishop Farm, about the eastern boundary of said
farm. There had been the quarrel about who should be minister, in which
the Nurses had sided with the determined opponents of Mistress Ann
Putnam's reverend brother-in-law. The Nurses and other families were
staunch opposers of Master Parris's claim to ownership of the Parsonage
and its grounds. And it was not to be wondered at, that the accusations
should be made against opponents rather than against friends.

Besides, there were those who had very little faith in the children
themselves, and had taken a kind of stand against them; and these too,
were in a dangerous position.

"Who torments you now?" The answer was ready: Martha Corey, and Rebecca
Nurse, and Bridget Bishop, and so on; the charges being made now against
the members, often the heads, of the most reputable families in Salem
town and village and the surrounding neighborhoods. Before the coming of
the winter snows probably one hundred and fifty persons were in prison
at Salem and Ipswich and Boston and Cambridge. Two-thirds of these were
women; many of them were aged and venerable men and women of the highest
reputation for behavior and piety. Yet, they were bound with chains, and
exposed to all the hardships that attended incarceration in small and
badly constructed prisons.

A special court composed of the leading judges in the province being
appointed by the Governor for the trial of these accused persons, a mass
of what would be now styled "utter nonsense" was brought against them.
No wonder that the official record of this co-called court of justice is
now nowhere to be found. The partial accounts that have come down to us
are sufficient to brand its proceeding with everlasting infamy. Let us
recur to the charges against some of these persons:

The Rev. Cotton Mather, speaking of the trial of Bridget Bishop, says:
"There was one strange thing with which the Court was _newly
entertained_. As this woman was passing by the meeting-house, she gave a
look towards the house; and immediately a demon, invisibly entering the
house, tore down a part of it; so that, though there was no person to be
seen there, yet the people, at the noise, running in, found a board,
which was strongly fastened with several nails, transported into another
quarter of the house."

A court of very ignorant men would be "entertained" now with such a
story, in a very different sense from that in which the Rev. Cotton
Mather used the word. The Court of 1692, doubtless swallowed the story
whole, for it was no more absurd than the bulk of the evidence upon
which they condemned the reputed witches.

One of the charges against the Rev. Master Burroughs, who had himself
been a minister for a short time in the village, was, that though a
small, slender man, he was a giant in strength. Several persons
witnessed that "he had held out a gun of seven foot barrel with one
hand; and had carried a barrel full of cider from a canoe to the shore."
Burroughs said that an Indian present at the time did the same, but the
answer was ready. "That was the black man, or the Devil, who looks like
an Indian."

Another charge against Master Burroughs was, that he went on a certain
occasion between two places in a shorter time than was possible, if the
Devil had not assisted him. Both Increase Mather, the father, and his
son Cotton, two of the most prominent and influential of the Boston
ministers, said that the testimony as to Mr. Burroughs' giant strength
was alone sufficient rightfully to convict him. It is not improbable
that the real animus of the feeling against Master Burroughs was the
belief that he was not sound in the faith; for Master Cotton Mather,
after his execution, declared to the people that he was "no ordained
minister," and called their attention to the fact that Satan often
appeared as an angel of light.



CHAPTER X.

Bridget Bishop Condemned to Die.


Salem, the habitation of peace, had become, by this time a pandemonium.
The "afflicted children" were making accusations in every direction, and
Mistress Ann Putnam, and many others, were imitating their example.

To doubt was to be accused; but very few managed to keep their heads
sufficiently in the whirlwind of excitement, even to be able to doubt.
With the exception of Joseph Putnam, and his visitor, Ellis Raymond,
there were very few, if any, open and outspoken doubters, and indignant
censurers of the whole affair. Dulcibel Burton also, though in a gentler
and less emphatic way, sided naturally with them, but, although she was
much less violent in her condemnation, she provoked even more anger from
the orthodox believers in the delusion.

For Joseph Putnam, as belonging to one of the most influential and
wealthy families in Salem, seemed to have some right to have an opinion.
And Master Raymond was visiting at his house, and naturally would be
influenced by him.

Besides, he was only a stranger at the best; and therefore, not entirely
responsible to them for his views. But Dulcibel was a woman, and it was
outrageous that she, at her years, should set up her crude opinions
against the authority of the ministers and the elders.

Besides, Joseph Putnam was known to be a determined and even rather
desperate young man when his passions were aroused, as they seldom were
though, save in some just cause; and he had let it be known that it
would be worth any person's life to attempt to arrest him. It was almost
the universal habit of that day, to wear the belt and sword; and Messrs.
Putnam and Raymond went thus constantly armed. Master Putnam also kept
two horses constantly saddled in his stable, day and night, to escape
with if necessary, into the forest, through which they might make their
way to New York. For the people of that province, who did not admire
their Puritan neighbors very much, received all such fugitives gladly,
and gave them full protection.

As for Master Raymond, although he saw that his position was becoming
dangerous, he determined to remain, notwithstanding the period which he
had fixed for his departure had long before arrived. His avowed reason
given to Joseph Putnam, was that he was resolved to see the crazy affair
through. His avowed reason, which Master Putnam perfectly understood,
was to prosecute his suit to Dulcibel, and see her safely through the
dangerous excitement also.

"They have condemned Bridget Bishop to death," said Master Putnam,
coming into the house one morning from a conversation with a neighbor.

"I supposed they would," replied Master Raymond. "But how nobly she bore
herself against such a mass of stupid and senseless testimony. Did you
know her?"

"I have often stopped at her Inn. A fine, free-spoken woman; a little
bold in her manners, but nothing wrong about her."

"Did you ever hear such nonsense as that about her tearing down a part
of the meeting-house simply by looking at it? And yet there sat the best
lawyers in the colony on the bench as her judges, and swallowed it all
down as if it had been gospel."

"And then those other stories of her appearing in people's bed-rooms,
and vanishing away suddenly; and of her being responsible for the
illness and death of her neighbors' children; what could be more
absurd?"

"And of the finding of puppets, made of rags and hogs' bristles, in the
walls and crevices of her cellar! Really, it would be utterly
contemptible if it were not so horrible."

"Yes, she is to be executed on Gallows Hill; and next week! I can
scarcely believe it, Master Raymond. If I could muster a score or two of
other stout fellows, I would carry her off from the very foot of the
gallows."

"Oh, the frenzy has only begun, my friend," replied Raymond. "You know
whose trial comes on next?"

"How any one can say a word against Mistress Nurse--that lovely and
venerable woman--passeth my comprehension," said Joseph Putnam's young
wife, who had been a listener to the conversation, while engaged in some
household duties.

"My sister-in-law, Ann Putnam, seems to have a spite against that woman.
I went to see her yesterday, and she almost foams at the mouth while
talking of her."

"The examination of Mistress Nurse before the magistrate comes off
to-day. Shall we not attend it?"

"Of course, but be careful of thy language, Friend Raymond. Do not let
thy indignation run away with thy discretion."

Raymond laughed outright, as did young Mistress Putnam. "This advice
from you, Master Joseph! who art such a very model of prudence and
cold-bloodedness! If thou wilt be only half as cautious and discreet as
I am, we shall give no offence even to the craziest of them."



CHAPTER XI.

Examination of Rebecca Nurse.


When they arrived at the village, the examination was in progress.
Mistress Rebecca Nurse, the mother of a large family; aged, venerable,
and bending now a little under the weight of years, was standing as a
culprit before the magistrates, who doubtless had often met her in the
social gatherings of the neighborhood.

She was guarded by two constables, she who needed no guarding. Around,
and as near her as they were allowed to stand, stood her husband and her
grown-up sons and daughters.

One of the strangest features of the time, as it strikes the reader of
this day, was the peaceful submission to the lawful authorities
practised by the husbands and fathers, and grown-up sons and brothers of
the women accused. Reaching as the list of alleged witches did in a
short time, to between one hundred and fifty and two hundred
persons--nearly the whole of them members of the most respectable
families--it is wonderful that a determined stand in their behalf was
not the result. One hundred resolute men, resolved to sacrifice their
lives if need be, would have put a stop to the whole matter. And if
there had been even twenty men in Salem, like Joseph Putnam, the thing
no doubt would have been done.

And in the opinion of the present writer, such a course would have been
far more worthy of praise, than the slavish submission to such outrages
as were perpetrated under the names of law, justice and religion. The
sons of these men, eighty years later, showed at Lexington and Concord
and Bunker Hill, that when Law and Peace become but grotesque masks,
under which are hidden the faces of legalized injustice and tyranny,
then the time has come for armed revolt and organized resistance.

But such was the darkness and bigotry of the day in respect to religious
belief, that the great majority of the people were mentally paralyzed by
the accepted faith, so that they were not able in many respects to
distinguish light from darkness. When an estimable man or woman was
accused of being a witch, for the term was indifferently applied to both
sexes, even their own married partners, their own children, had a more
or less strong conviction that it might possibly be so. And this made
the peculiar horror of it.

In at least fifty cases, the accused confessed that they were witches,
and sometimes accused others in turn. This was owing generally to the
influence of their relatives, who implored them to confess; for to
confess was invariably to be acquitted, or to be let off with simple
imprisonment.

But to return to poor Rebecca Nurse, haled without warning from her
prosperous, happy home at the Bishop Farm, carried to jail, loaded with
chains, and now brought up for the tragic farce of a judicial
examination. In this case also, the account given in my friend's little
book is amply confirmed by other records. Mistress Ann Putnam, Abigail
Williams (the minister's niece), Elizabeth Hubbard and Mary Walcott,
were the accusers.

"Abigail Williams, have you been hurt by this woman?" said magistrate
Hathorne.

"Yes," replied Abigail. And then Mistress Ann Putnam fell to the floor
in a fit; crying out between her violent spasms, that it was Rebecca
Nurse who was then afflicting her.

"What do you say to those charges?" The accused replied: "I can say
before the eternal Father that I am innocent of any such wicked doings,
and God will clear my innocence."

Then a man named Henry Kenney rose, and said that Mistress Nurse
frequently tormented him also; and that even since he had been there
that day, he had been seized twice with an amazed condition.

"The villain!" muttered Joseph Putnam to those around him, "if I had him
left to me for a time, I would have him in an amazed condition!"

"You are an unbeliever, and everybody knows it, Master Putnam," said one
near him. "But we who are of the godly, know that Satan goes about like
a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

"Quiet there!" said one of the magistrates.

Edward Putnam (another of the brothers) then gave in his evidence,
saying that he had seen Mistress Ann Putnam, and the other accusers,
grievously tormented again and again, and declaring that Rebecca Nurse
was the person who did it.

"These are serious charges, Mistress Nurse," said Squire Hathorne, "are
they true?"

"I have told you that they are false. Why, I was confined to my sick bed
at the time it is said they occurred."

"But did you not send your spectre to torment them?"

"How could I? And I would not if I could."

Here Mistress Putnam was taken with another fit. Worse than the other,
which greatly affected the whole people. Coming to a little, she cried
out: "Did you not bring the black man with you? Did you not tell me to
tempt God and die? Did you not eat and drink the red blood to your own
damnation?"

These words were shrieked out so wildly, that all the people were
greatly agitated and murmured against such wickedness. But the prisoner
releasing her hand for a moment cried out, "Oh, Lord, help me!"

"Hold her hands," some cried then, for the afflicted persons seemed to
be grievously tormented by her. But her hands being again firmly held by
the guards, they seemed comforted.

Then the worthy magistrate Hathorne said, "Do you not see that when your
hands are loosed these people are afflicted?"

"The Lord knows," she answered, "that I have not hurt them."

"You would do well if you are guilty to confess it; and give glory to
God."

"I have nothing to confess. I am as innocent as an unborn child."

"Is it not strange that when you are examined, these persons should be
afflicted thus?"

"Yes, it is very strange."

[Illustration: "The Lord knows that I haven't hurt them"]

"Do you believe these afflicted persons are bewitched?"

"I surely do think they must be."

Weary of the proceedings and the excitement, the aged lady allowed her
head to droop on one side. Instantly the heads of the accusers were bent
the same way.

Abigail Williams cried out, "Set up Mistress Nurse's neck, our necks
will all be broken." The jailers held up the prisoner's neck; and the
necks of all the accused were instantly made straight again. This was
considered a marvelous proof; and produced a wonderful effect upon the
magistrates and the people. Mistress Ann Putnam went into such great
bodily agony at this time, charging it all upon the prisoner, that the
magistrates gave her husband permission to carry her out of the house.
Only then, when no longer in the sight of the prisoner, could she regain
her peace.

"Mistress Nurse was then recommitted to the jail in Salem, in order to
further examination."

"What deviltry is coming next?" said Joseph Putnam to his friend.

Many of those around glared on the speaker, but he was well known to all
of them as a daring--and when angered even a desperate young man--and
they allowed him to say with impunity, freely what no one else could
even have whispered. His son in after years, looked not into the wolf's
eyes in the dark den with a sterner gaze, than he looked into the
superstitious and vengeful wolves' eyes around him.

"To think that a godly old woman like Mistress Nurse, should be
tormented by this Devil's brood of witches, led on by that she-devil
sister of mine, Ann Putnam."

Many around heard him, but none cared to meet the young man's fierce
eyes, as they blazed upon those that were nearest.

"Do control yourself, my friend," whispered Master Raymond. "Preserve
yourself for a time when your indignation may do some good."

Then the constable brought in a little girl of about five years of age,
Dorcas Good, a daughter of Sarah Good, who had been arrested on the
complaint of Edward and Jonathan Putnam.

The evidence against this little girl of five was overwhelming. Mistress
Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, and Mary Walcott were the accusers--charging
the innocent and pretty little creature with biting, pinching and
choking them--the little girl smiling while they were giving their
testimony. She was not old enough to understand what it was all about,
and that even her life was in danger from these demoniacs. They
absolutely pretended to show the marks of her little teeth in their
arms. Then, after going through the usual convulsions, they shrieked out
that she was running pins into them; and the pins were found on
examination sticking into their bodies.

The little girl was, as I have said, at first inclined to laugh at all
the curious proceedings, and the spasms and contortions of the
witnesses, but at last, seeing everyone so solemn and looking so
wickedly at her, she began to cry; until Joseph Putnam went up to her
and gave her some sweet cake to eat, which he had provided for his own
luncheon and then, looking into his kind face, she began to smile again.

The Magistrates frowned upon Master Putnam, as he did this, but he paid
no attention to their frowns. And when the little girl was ordered back
to jail as a prisoner to await her trial, he bent down and kissed her
before she was led away by the constable.

This was the end of the proceedings for that day and the crowd began to
disperse.

"This is a pretty day's work you have made of it, sister-in-law," said
Joseph Putnam, striding up to his brother's wife. "You say that you are
tormented by many devils, and I believe it. Now I want to give you, and
all the Devil's brood around you, fair warning that if you dare to touch
with your foul lies any one belonging to my house including the stranger
within my gates, you shall answer it with your lives, in spite of all
your judges and prisons."

So saying, he glared at his two brothers, who made no reply, and walked
out of the meeting-house in which this ungodly business had been
transacted.

"Oh, it is only Joe," said Thomas Putnam; "he always was the spoiled
child of the family."

His wife said nothing, but soon a hard, bitter smile took the place of
the angry flush that the young man's words had produced. Dulcibel Burton
was not one of his household, nor within his gates.



CHAPTER XII.

Burn Me, or Hang Me, I Will Stand in the Truth of Christ.


After the trial and conviction of Bridget Bishop, the Special Court of
seven Judges--a majority of whom were leading citizens of Boston, the
Deputy Governor of the Province, acting as Chief-Justice--decided to
take further counsel in this wonderful and important matter of the
fathers of the church. So the Court took a recess, while it consulted
the ministers of Boston and other places, respecting its duty in the
case. The response of the ministers, while urging in general terms the
importance of caution and circumspection, recommended the earnest and
vigorous carrying on of the war against Satan and his disciples.

Among the new victims, one of the most striking cases was that of George
Jacobs and his grand-daughter Margaret. The former was a
venerable-looking man, very tall, with long, thin white hair, who was
compelled by his infirmities to support himself in walking with two
staffs. Sarah Churchill, a chief witness, against him, was a servant in
his family; and probably was feeding in this way some old grudge.

"You accuse me of being a wizard," said the old man on his examination;
"you might as well charge me with being a buzzard."

They asked the accused to repeat the Lord's prayer. And Master Parris,
the minister, who acted as a reporter, said "he could not repeat it
right after many trials."

"Well," said the brave old man finally, after they had badgered him with
all kinds of nonsensical questions, "Well, burn me, or hang me, I will
stand in the truth of Christ!"

As his manly bearing was evidently producing an effect, the "afflicted
girls" came out in full force the next day at the adjourned session.
When he was brought in, they fell at once into the most grievous fits
and screechings.

"Who hurts you?" was asked, after they had recovered somewhat.

"This man," said Abigail Williams, going off into another fit.

"This is the man," averred Ann Putnam; "he hurts me, and wants me to
write in the red book; and promises if I will do so, to make me as well
as his grand-daughter."

"Yes, this is the man," cried Mercy Lewis, "he almost kills me."

"It is the one who used to come to me. I know him by his two staffs,
with one of which he used to beat the life out of me," said Mary
Walcott.

Mercy Lewis for her part walked towards him; but as soon as she got
near, fell into great fits.

Then Ann Putnam and Abigail Williams "had each of them a pin stuck in
their hands and they said it was done by this old Jacobs."

The Magistrates took all this wicked acting in sober earnest; and asked
the prisoner, "what he had to say to it?"

"Only that it is false," he replied. "I know no more of it than the
child that was born last night."

But the honest old man's denial went of course, for nothing. Neither did
Sarah Ingersoll's deposition made a short time afterwards; in which she
testified that "Sarah Churchill came to her after giving her evidence,
crying and wringing her hands, and saying that she has belied herself
and others in saying she had set her hand to the Devil's book." She said
that "they had threatened her that if she did not say it, they would put
her in the dungeon along with Master Burroughs."

And that, "if she told Master Noyes, the minister, but once that she had
set her hand to the book, he would believe her; but if she told him the
truth a hundred times, he would not believe her."

The truth no doubt is that Master Noyes, Master Parris, Cotton Mather,
and all the other ministers, with one or two exceptions, having
committed themselves fully to the prosecution of the witches, would
listen to nothing that tended to prove that the principal witnesses were
deliberate and malicious liars; and that, so far as the other witnesses
were concerned, they were grossly superstitious and deluded persons.

No charity that is fairly clear-sighted, can cover over the evidence of
the "afflicted circle" with the mantle of self-delusion. Self-delusion
does not conceal pins, stick them into its own body, and charge the
accused person with doing it, knowing that the accusation may be the
prisoner's death. This was done repeatedly by Mistress Ann Putnam, and
her Satanic brood of false accusers.

Sarah Churchill was no worse than the others, judging by her remorse
after she had helped to murder with her lying tongue her venerable
master and we have in the deposition of Sarah Ingersoll, undoubted proof
that she testified falsely.

When Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis and Mary Walcott all united in charging
little Dorcas Good--five years old!--with biting, pinching and almost
choking them; "showing the marks of her little teeth on their arms, and
the pins sticking in their bodies, where they had averred she was
piercing them"--can any sane, clear-minded man or woman suppose it was
an innocent delusion, and not a piece of horribly wicked lying?

When in open court some of the "afflicted" came out of their fits with
"their wrists bound together, by invisible means," with "a real cord" so
that "it could hardly be taken off without cutting," was there not only
deception, but undeniable collusion of two or more in deception?

When an iron spindle was used by an alleged "spectre" to torture a
"sufferer," the said iron spindle not being discernible by the
by-standers until it became visible by being snatched by the sufferer
from the spectre's hand, was there any self-delusion there? Was it not
merely wicked imposture and cunning knavery?

I defy any person possessing in the least a judicial and accurate mind,
to investigate the records of this witchcraft delusion without coming to
the conclusion that the "afflicted girls," who led off in this matter,
and were the principal witnesses, continually testified to what they
knew to be utterly false. There is no possible excuse for them on the
ground of "delusion." However much we may recoil from the sad belief
that they testified in the large majority of cases to what they knew to
be entirely false, the facts of the case compel us with an irresistible
force to such an unhappy conclusion. When we are positively certain that
a witness, in a case of life or death, has testified falsely against the
prisoner again and again, is it possible that we can give him or her the
benefit of even a doubt as to the animus of the testimony? The
falsehoods I have referred to were cases of palpable, unmistakable and
deliberate lying. And the only escape from considering it _wilful_
lying, is to make a supposition not much in accord with the temper of
the present times, that, having tampered with evil spirits, and invoked
the Devil continually during the long evenings of the preceding winter,
the prince of powers of the air had at last come at their call, and
ordered a legion of his creatures to take possession of the minds and
bodies that they had so freely offered to him. For certainly there is no
way of explaining the conduct of the "afflicted circle" of girls and
women, than by supposing either that they were guilty of the most
enormous wickedness, or else that they were "possessed with devils."



CHAPTER XIII.

Dulcibel in Danger.


The terrible excitement of these days was enough to drive the more
excitable portion of the inhabitants of Salem almost crazy. The work of
the house and of the farm was neglected; a large number of suspected
persons and their relatives were sunk in the deepest grief, the families
of some of the imprisoned knew not where to get their daily food; for
their property was generally taken possession of by the officers of the
law at the time of the arrest, the accused being considered guilty until
they were proved to be innocent. Upon conviction of a capital offence
the property of the condemned was attainted, being confiscated by the
state; and the constables took possession at once, in order that it
might not be spirited away.

And no one outside of the circle of the accusers knew whose turn might
come next. Neither sex, nor age, nor high character, as we have seen,
was a bar against the malice, or the wantonness of the "afflicted." The
man or woman who had lived a righteous life for over eighty years, the
little child who wondered what it all meant, the maiden whose only
fault might be to have a jealous rival, all were alike in danger.

Especially were those in peril, however, who dared to take the side of
any of the accused, and express even the faintest disbelief in the
justice of the legal proceedings, or the honesty of the witnesses. These
would be surely singled out for punishment. Again and again, had this
been done until the voices of all but the very boldest were effectually
silenced. Those arrested now, as a general thing, would confess at once
to the truthfulness of all the charges brought against them, and even
invent still more improbable stories of their own, as this mollified the
accusers, and they often would be let off with a solemn reprimand by the
magistrates.

Joseph Putnam and his male servants went constantly armed; and two
horses were kept saddled day and night, in his stable. He never went to
the village unaccompanied; and made no secret of his determination to
resist the arrest of himself or, as he had phrased it, "any one within
his gates," to the last drop of his blood.

Living with the Goodman Buckley who had leased the Burton property, was
a hired man named Antipas Newton. He was a good worker though now
getting old, and had in one sense been leased with the place by
Dulcibel's father.

Antipas's history had been a sad one. Adopted when left an orphan by a
benevolent farmer who had no children, he managed by diligence and
strict economy to acquire by the age of thirty, quite a comfortable
property of his own. Then the old couple that he called Father and
Mother became converts to Quakerism. Fined and imprisoned, deprived of
their property, and, after the expiration of their term of imprisonment,
ordered to leave the colony, they had been "harbored" by the man for
whom they had done so much in his early years.

Antipas was a person of limited intelligence, but of strong affections
and wide sympathies. Again and again, he harbored these persecuted ones,
who despite their whippings and banishment would persist in returning to
Salem. Finally, Antipas himself was heavily fined, and his property sold
to pay the fines. His wife had died early, but a young daughter who kept
his house in order, and who had failed in her attendance at the church
which was engaged in persecuting her father, was also fined heavily. As
her father's property was all gone, and she had no money of her own,
she could not pay the fine, and was put in prison, to be sent to
Barbados, and sold as a slave, that thus the fine might be collected.
But the anguish, and the exposure of her prison, were too much for the
young girl; and she died before means of transportation could be found.

As a result of these persecutions, Antipas became demented. As his
insanity grew evident, the prosecutions ceased; but he was still in
danger of starvation, so few would give him employment, both on account
of his impaired mind, and of the odium which attached to any friend of
the abhorred Quakers.

Captain Burton, Dulcibel's father, came to the village at this time. He
had been one of the sea-captains who had indignantly refused to take the
Southwick children, or any other of the Salem children, to Barbados;
and he pitied the poor insane man, and gave him employment. Not only did
he do this, but, as we have said, made it an article of the lease of his
property, that the Buckleys should also keep Antipas as a farm servant.

Antipas, to the general surprise of the villagers had proved to be an
excellent servant, notwithstanding his insanity. Only on training days
and other periods of excitement, did his insanity obtrude itself. At
all other times he seemed to be a cheerful, simple-hearted, and very
capable and industrious "hand."

To Dulcibel, as was natural, Antipas always manifested the greatest
devotion. Her little black mare was always groomed to perfection, he
never being satisfied until he took a white linen handkerchief that he
kept for the purpose, and, passing it over the mare's shining coat, saw
that no stain or loose black hair remained on it.

"You think that Mistress Dulcibel is an angel, do you not?" said one of
the female servants to him about this time, a little scornfully.

"No, I know what she is," he replied. "Shall I tell you--but if I do,
you will not believe"--and he looked at the girl a little doubtfully.

"Oh, yes, I will," said the girl.

"Come here then and I will whisper it to you. I heard the minister read
about her once, she is the woman that is 'clothed with the sun and has
the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.'"

"That is wicked, Antipas. If Master Parris heard that you said things
like that, he would have you whipped and put in the stocks."

"Master Parris? you mean Beelzebub! I know Beelzebub when I see him."
And Antipas gave one of his unnatural, insane laughs, which were getting
very frequent of late.

For the general excitement was proving too much for Antipas. Fie stopped
frequently in his work, and muttered to himself; and then laughed
wildly, or shed tears. He talked about the witches and the Devil and
evil spirits, and the strange things that he saw at night, in the insane
fashion that characterized the "afflicted children."

As for Dulcibel in these times, she kept pretty much to herself, going
out very little. As she could not sympathize with the general gossip of
the neighborhood, she remained at home, and consequently had very few
visitors. Joseph Putnam called whenever he came to the village, which,
as I have stated, was but seldom; and Ellis Raymond came every few days.

Yes, it was a courtship, I suppose; but one of a very grave and serious
character. The conversation generally turned upon the exciting events
continually occurring, some new arrest, some new confession, some new
and outrageously absurd charges.

Master Raymond's hand, if anyone accosted him suddenly, instinctively
sought the hilt of his rapier. He was better skilled in the use of that
weapon than was usual, and had no fear that he should be unable to
escape from the constables, if not taken at a disadvantage. Still, as
that would compel him to fly into the woods, and as it would separate
him from Dulcibel, he had been very careful not to express in public his
abhorrence of all the recent proceedings. I am afraid that he was guilty
of considerable dissimulation, even paying his court to some of the
"afflicted" maidens when he had the opportunity, with soft words and
handsome presents; and trying in this way to enlist a party in his
behalf, in case he or any of his friends should need supporters.

Joseph Putnam censured him one day for his double dealing, which was a
thing not only out of Master Joseph's line, but one which his frank and
outspoken nature rendered it very difficult for him to practise. But
Raymond with his references to King David's behavior towards Achish,
King of Gath, and to certain other scripture, especially Paul's being
"all things to all men that he might save all," was rather too weighty
for Joseph, whose forte was sensible assertion rather than ingenious
argument. And so Master Raymond persevered in his course, feeling no
more compunction in deceiving the Salemites, as he said to himself, than
he would in deceiving and cheating a pack of savage wolves, who were
themselves arrayed in sheep's clothing.

Jethro Sands had of late shown a disposition to renew his attentions to
Dulcibel; but, after two or three visits, in the last of which he had
given the maiden the desired opportunity, she had plainly intimated to
him that the old state of affairs between them could never be restored.

"I know the reason too," said Jethro, angrily "it is all owing to that
English popinjay, who rides about as if we colonists were not fit to
dust his pretty coat for him."

"He is a gentleman, and a friend of mine," replied Dulcibel warmly.

"Why do you not say a lover of yours, at once?"

"You have no right to talk to me in that manner. I will not endure it."

"You will not--how will you help it?" He was now thoroughly angry, and
all his native coarseness came to the surface.

"I will show you," said Dulcibel, the Norse blood of her father glowing
in her face. "Good evening, Sir!" and she left the room.

Jethro had not expected such a quiet, but effective answer. He sat
twirling his thumbs, for awhile, hoping that she would return. But
realizing at last that she would not, he took his departure in a
towering anger. Of course this was the last of his visits. But Dulcibel
had made a deadly enemy.

It was unfortunate, for the maiden already had many who disliked her
among the young people of the village. She was a superior person for one
thing, and "gave herself airs," as some said. To be superior, without
having wealth or an acknowledged high social position, is always to be
envied, and often to be hated. Then again, Dulcibel dressed with more
richness and variety of costume than was usual in the Puritan villages.
This set many of the women, both young and old, against her. Her scarlet
bodice, especially, was a favorite theme for animadversion; some even
going so far as to call her ironically "the scarlet woman." It is
curious how unpopular a perfectly amiable, sweet-tempered and
sweet-tongued maiden may often become, especially with her own sex,
because of their innate feeling that she is not, in spite of all her
courteous endeavors, really one of them. It is an evil day for the swan
when she finds herself the only swan among a large flock of geese.

Dulcibel's antecedents also were not as orthodox as they might be. Her
mother, it was granted, was "pious," and of a "godly" connection; but
her father, as he had himself once said, "had no religion to speak of."
He had further replied to the question, asked him when he first came to
Salem, as to whether he was "a professor of religion," that he was "only
a sea captain, and had no other profession." And a certain freedom of
thought characterized Dulcibel, that she could scarcely have derived
from her pious mother. In fact, it was something like the freedom of the
winds and of the clouds, blowing where they liked; and had been probably
caught up by her father in his many voyages over the untrammeled seas.

At first Dulcibel had been rather impressed by the sermons of Master
Parris and Master Noyes and the other ministers, to the effect that
Satan was making a deadly assault upon the "saints," in revenge for
their interference with his hitherto undisputed domination of the new
world. But the longer she thought about it, the more she was inclined to
adopt Joseph Putnam's theory, that his sister-in-law and niece and the
other "afflicted" persons were possessed by devils.

She inclined to this view in preference even to what she knew was Ellis
Raymond's real conviction, that they were a set of hysterical and
vicious girls and women who had rendered themselves half-insane by
tampering for a whole winter with their nervous and spiritual
organizations; until they could scarcely now distinguish the true from
the untrue, the real from the unreal, good from evil, or light from
darkness.

"They have become reprobates and given over to an evil mind," said
Master Raymond to her one day; clothing his thought as nearly as he
could in scriptural language, in order to commend it to her.

"Yes, this seems to be a reasonable explanation of their wicked
conduct," replied Dulcibel. "But I think after all, that it amounts to
about the same thing as Joseph Putnam says, only that his is the
stronger and more satisfactory statement."

And thinking of it, Master Raymond had to come to the same conclusion.
His own view and that of his friends were about the same, only they had
expressed themselves in different phrases.



CHAPTER XIV.

Bad News.


The blow fell at last, and where they might have expected it. As Joseph
Putnam said afterwards, "Why did I not bring them out to my house? They
would not have dared to take them from under my roof, and they could not
have done it if they had dared."

One of his servants had been sent to the village on an errand; he had
not performed his errand, but he had hurried back at once with the news.
Dulcibel Burton had been arrested the previous evening, about nine
o'clock, on the charge of being a witch. Antipas Newton had also been
arrested. Both had been taken to prison, and put in irons.

A desperate, determined look came into the faces of the two men as they
gathered every word the servant had to tell. Young Mistress Putnam burst
into tears. But the men dashed a tear or two from their eyes, and began
to collect their thoughts. It was not weeping but stern daring, that
would be needed before this thing was through.

The prisoners were to be brought up that afternoon for examination. "I
have my two men, who will follow wherever I lead them," said Master
Putnam. "That makes four of us. Shall we carry her off from under their
very eyes?" And his face glowed--the fighting instinct of his race was
very strong within him.

"It might not succeed, those men are neither cowards nor babies,"
answered his guest. "Besides, it would lead probably to your banishment
and the confiscation of your property. No, we must have the wisdom of
the serpent, as well as the boldness of the lion."

"The result of the examination may be favorable, so young and good and
beautiful as she is," said Mistress Putnam.

"They lap their tongues in the blood of lambs, and say it is sweet as
honey," replied her husband, shaking his head. "No, they will show no
mercy; but we must try to match them."

"Yes, and with as little hazard and cost to you, my noble friend, as
possible," said Master Raymond. "Let me act, and take all the risk. They
cannot get hold of my property; and I would just as lief live in New
York or Philadelphia or England as among this brood of crazy vipers."

"That is wise counsel, Joseph," said his wife.

"Oh, I suppose it is," he answered emphatically. "But I hate wise
counsel."

"Still, my good friend, you must admit that, as Dulcibel betrothed
herself to me only two days ago, I am the one to take the greatest risk
in this matter."

"Indeed!" said Mistress Putnam. "I knew it would be so; and I told
Joseph it would be, only yesterday."

"I give you joy of such a mistress!" cried Master Putnam, grasping his
friend's hand. "Yes, I grant now your right of precedence in this
danger, and I will follow your lead--yes, to the death!"

"I hold you to that," said Master Raymond. "Remember you are pledged to
follow my lead. Now, whatever I do, do not wonder, much less express any
wonder. For this is war, and I have a right to meet craft with craft,
and guile with guile. Depend upon it, I will save her, or perish with
her."



CHAPTER XV.

The Arrest of Dulcibel and Antipas.


The arrest of Dulcibel had been entirely unexpected to herself and the
Buckleys. Dulcibel indeed had wondered, when walking through the village
in the morning, that several persons she knew had seemed to avoid
meeting her. But she was too full of happiness in her recent betrothal
to take umbrage or alarm at such an unimportant circumstance. A few
months now, and Salem, she hoped, would see her no more forever. She
knew, for Master Raymond had told her, that there were plenty of places
in the world where life was reasonably gay and sunny and hopeful; not
like this dull valley of the shadow of death in which she was now
living. Raymond's plan was to get married; sell her property, which
might take a few months, more or less; and then sail for England, to
introduce his charming wife to a large circle of relatives.

Dulcibel had been reading a book that Raymond had brought to her--a
volume of Shakespeare's plays--a prohibited book among the Puritan
fathers, and which would have been made the text for one of Master
Parris's most denunciatory sermons if he had known that it was in the
village. Having finished "Macbeth" she laid the book down upon the table
and began playing with her canary, holding it to her cheek, putting its
bill to her lips, and otherwise fondling it. While she was thus engaged,
she began to have the uncomfortable feeling which sensitive persons
often have when some one is watching them; and turning involuntarily to
the window which looked out on a garden at the side of the house, she
saw in the dim light that dark faces, with curious eyes, seemed nearly
to fill up the lower half of the casement. In great surprise, and with a
sudden tremor, she rose quickly from the seat; and, as she did so, the
weird faces and glistening eyes disappeared, and two constables,
attended by a crowd of the villagers, entered the room. One of these
walked at once to her side, and seizing her by the arm said, "I arrest
you, Dulcibel Burton, by the authority of Magistrate Hathorne. Come
along with me."

"What does all this mean, friend Herrick?" said Goodman Buckley, coming
into the room.

"It means," said the constable, "that this young woman is no better than
the other witches, who have been joining hand with Satan against the
peace and dignity of this province." Then, turning to Dame Buckley, "Get
her a shawl and bonnet, goodwife; if you do not wish her to go out
unprotected in the night's cold."

"A witch--what nonsense!" said Dame Buckley.

"Nonsense, is it?" said the other constable. "What is this?" taking up
the book from the table. "A book of plays! profane and wicked stage
plays, in Salem village! You had better hold your peace, goodwife; or
you may go to prison yourself for harboring such licentious devices of
Satan in your house."

Goodwife Buckley started and grew pale. A book of wicked stage-plays
under her roof! She could make no reply, but went off without speaking
to pack up a bundle of the accused maiden's clothing.

"See here!" continued the constable, opening the book, "All about
witches, as I thought! He-cat and three other witches!

   'Round about the cauldron go:
   In the poisoned entrails throw.'

It is horrible!"

"Put the accursed book in the fire, Master Taunton," said Herrick.

There was a small fire burning on the hearth, for the evening was a
little cool, and the other constable threw the book amidst the live
coals; but was surprised to see that it did not flame up rapidly.

"That is witchcraft, if there ever was witchcraft!" said Jethro Sands,
who was at the front of the crowd. "See, it will not burn. The Devil
looks out for his own."

"Yes, we shall have to stay here all night, if we wait for that book to
burn up," said Master Herrick. "Now if it had been a Bible, or a
Psalm-book, it would have been consumed by this time."

"My father told me," said one of the crowd, "that they were once six
weeks trying to burn up some witch's book in Holland, and then had to
tear each leaf separately before they could burn it."

"Where is the yellow bird--her familiar--that she was sending on some
witch's errand when we were watching at the window?" said another of the
crowd.

"Oh, it's not likely you will find the yellow bird," replied Herrick.
"It is halfway down to hell by this time."

"No, there it is!" cried Jethro Sands, pointing to a ledge over the
door, where the canary-bird had flown in its fright.

"Kill it! kill the familiar! Kill the devil's imp!" came in various
voices, the angry tones being not without an inflection of fear.

Several pulled out their rapiers. Jethro was the quickest. He made a
desperate lunge at the little creature, and impaled it on the point of
his weapon.

Dulcibel shook off the hold of the constable and sprang forward. "Oh, my
pretty Cherry," she cried, taking the dead bird from the point of the
rapier. "You wretch! to harm an innocent little creature like that!" and
she smoothed the feathers of the bird and kissed its little head.

"Take it from her! kill the witch!" cried some rude women in the outer
circles of the crowd.

"Yes, mistress, this is more than good Christian people can be expected
to endure," said constable Herrick, sternly, snatching the bird from her
and tossing it into the fire. "Let us see if the imp will burn any
quicker than the book."

"Ah, she forgot to charm it," said the other constable, as the little
feathers blazed up in a blue flame.

"Yes, but note the color," said Jethro. "No Christian bird ever blazed
in that color."

"Neither they ever did!" echoed another, and they looked into each
other's faces and shook their heads solemnly.

At this moment Antipas Newton was led to the door of the room, in the
custody of another officer. The old man seemed to be taking the whole
proceeding very quietly and patiently, as the Quakers always did. But
the moment he saw Dulcibel weeping, with Herrick's grasp upon her arm,
his whole demeanor changed.

"What devil's mischief is this?" cried the demented man; and springing
like an enraged lion upon Master Herrick, he dashed him against the
opposite wall, tore his constable's staff from his hands and laying the
staff around him wildly and ferociously cleared the room of everybody
save Dulcibel and himself in less time than I have taken to tell it.

Jethro stepped forward with his drawn rapier to cover the retreat of the
constables; but shouting, "the sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" the
deranged man, with the stout oaken staff, dashed the rapier from
Jethro's hand, and administered to him a sounding whack over the head,
which made the blood come. Then he picked up the rapier and throwing the
staff behind him, laughed wildly as he saw the crowd, constable and
all, tumbling out of the door of the next room into the front garden of
the house as if Satan himself in very deed, were after them.

"I will teach them how they abuse my pretty little Dulcibel," said the
now thoroughly demented man, laughing grimly. "Come on, ye imps of
Satan, and I will toast you at the end of my fork," he cried,
flourishing Jethro's rapier, whose red point, crimson with the blood of
the canary-bird, seemed to act upon the mind of the old man as a spark
of fire upon tow.

"Antipas," said Dulcibel, coming forward and gazing sadly into the eyes
of her faithful follower, "is it not written, 'Put up thy sword; for he
that takes the sword shall perish by the sword'? Give me the weapon!"

The old man gazed into her face, at first wonderingly; then, with the
instinct of old reverence and obedience, he handed the rapier to her,
crossed his muscular arms over his broad breast, bowed his grisly head,
and stood submissively before her.

"You can return now safely," Dulcibel called out to the constables. They
came in, at first a little warily. "He is insane; but the spell is over
now for the present. But treat him tenderly, I pray you. When he is in
one of these fits, he has the strength of ten men."

The constables could not help being impressed favorably by the maiden's
conduct; and they treated her with a certain respect and tenderness
which they had not previously shown, until they had delivered her, and
the afterwards entirely humble and peaceful Antipas, to the keeper of
Salem prison.

But the crowd said to one another as they sought their houses: "What a
powerful witch she must be, to calm down that maniac with one word."
While others replied, "But he is possessed with a devil; and she does it
because her power is of the devil."

They did not remember that this was the very course of reasoning used on
a somewhat similar occasion against the Savior himself in Galilee!



CHAPTER XVI.

Dulcibel in Prison.


In the previous cases of alleged witchcraft to which I have alluded, the
details given in my manuscript volume were fully corroborated, even
almost to the minutest particulars, by official records now in
existence. But in what I have related, and am about to relate, relative
to Dulcibel Burton, I shall have to rely entirely upon the manuscript
volume. Still, as there is nothing there averred more unreasonable and
absurd than what is found in the existing official records, I see no
reason to doubt the entire truthfulness of the story. In fact, it would
be difficult to imagine grosser and more ridiculous accusations than
were made by Mistress Ann Putnam against that venerable and truly devout
and Christian matron, Rebecca Nurse.

When Dulcibel and Antipas, in the custody of four constables, reached
the Salem jail, it was about eleven o'clock at night. The jailor,
evidently had expected them; for he threw open the door at once. He was
a stout, strong-built man, with not a bad countenance for a jailer; but
seemed thoroughly imbued with the prevailing superstition, judging by
the harsh manner in which he received the prisoners.

"I've got two strong holes for these imps of Satan; bring 'em along!"

The jail was built of logs, and divided inside into a number of small
rooms or cells. In each of these cells was a narrow bedstead and a stone
jug and slop bucket. Antipas was hustled into one cell, and, after being
chained, the door was bolted upon him. Then Dulcibel was taken into
another, though rather larger cell, and the jailor said, "Now she will
not trouble other people for a while, my masters."

"Are you not going to put irons on her, Master Foster?" said Herrick.

"Of course I am. But I must get heavier chains than those to hold such a
powerful witch as she is. Trust her to me, Master Herrick. She'll be too
heavy to fly about on her broomsticks by the time I have done with her."

Then they all went out and Dulcibel heard the heavy bolt shoot into its
socket, and the voices dying away as the men went down the stairs.

She groped her way to the bed in the darkness, sat down upon it and
burst into tears. It was like a change from Paradise into the infernal
regions. A few hours before and she had been musing in an ecstasy of joy
over her betrothal, and dreaming bright dreams of the future, such
perhaps as only a maiden can dream in the rapture of her first love. Now
she was sitting in a prison cell, accused of a deadly crime, and her
life and good reputation in the most imminent danger. One thing alone
buoyed her up--the knowledge that her lover was fully aware of her
innocence; and that he and Joseph Putnam would do all that they could do
in her behalf. But then the sad thought came, that to aid her in any way
might be only to bring upon themselves a similar accusation. And then,
with a noble woman's spirit of self-sacrifice, she thought: "No, let
them not be brought into danger. Better, far better, that I should
suffer alone, than drag down my friends with me."

Here she heard the noise of the bolt being withdrawn, and saw the dim
light of the jailer's candle.

As the jailer entered he threw down some heavy irons in the corner of
the room. Then, he closed the door behind him, and came up to the
unhappy girl. He laid his hand upon her shoulder and said:

"You little witch!"

Something in the tone seemed to strike upon the maiden's ear as if it
were not unfamiliar to her; and she looked up hastily.

"Do you not remember me, little Dulcy? Why I rocked you on my foot in
the old Captain's house in Boston many a day."

"Is it not uncle Robie?" said the girl. She had not seen him since she
was four years old.

The jailer smiled. "Of course it is," he replied, "just uncle Robie. The
old captain never went to sea that Robie Foster did not go as first
mate. And a blessed day it was when I came to be first mate of this
jail-ship; though I never thought to see the old captain's bonnie bird
among my boarders."

"And do you think I really am a witch, uncle Robie?"

"Of course ye are. A witch of the worst kind," replied Robie, with a
chuckle. "Now, when I come in here tomorrow morning nae doobt I will
find all your chains off. It is just sae with pretty much all the
others. I cannot keep them chained, try my best and prettiest."

"And Antipas?"

"Oh, he will just be like all the rest of them, doobtless. He is a
powerful witch, and half a Quaker, besides."

"But do you really believe in witches, uncle Robie?"

"What do these deuced Barebones Puritans know about witches, or the
devil, or anything else? There is only one true church, Mistress
Dulcibel. I have sa mooch respect for the clergy as any man; but I don't
take my sailing orders from a set of sourfaced old pirates."

Then, leaving her a candle and telling her to keep up a stout heart, the
jailer left the cell; and Dulcibel heard the heavy bolt again drawn upon
her, with a much lighter heart, than before. Examining the bundle of
clothes that Goodwife Buckley had made up, she found that nothing
essential to her comfort had been forgotten, and she soon was sleeping
as peacefully in her prison cell as if she were in her own pretty little
chamber.



CHAPTER XVII.

Dulcibel before the Magistrates.


The next afternoon the meeting-house at Salem village was crowded to its
utmost capacity; for Dulcibel Burton and Antipas Newton were to be
brought before the worshipful magistrates, John Hathorne and Jonathan
Corwin. These worthies were not only magistrates, but persons of great
note and influence, being members of the highest legislative and
judicial body in the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

Among the audience were Joseph Putnam and Ellis Raymond; the former
looking stern and indignant, the latter wearing an apparently cheerful
countenance, genial to all that he knew, and they were many; and
especially courteous and agreeable to Mistress Ann Putnam, and the
"afflicted" maidens. It was evident that Master Raymond was determined
to preserve for himself the freedom of the village, if complimentary and
pleasant speeches would effect it. It would not do to be arrested or
banished, now that Dulcibel was in prison.

When the constable, Joseph Herrick, brought in Dulcibel, he stated that
having made "diligent search for images and such like," they had found a
"yellow bird," of the kind that witches were known to affect; a wicked
book of stage-plays, which seemed to be about witches, especially one
called "he-cat"; and a couple of rag dolls with pins stuck into them.

"Have you brought them?" said Squire Hathorne.

"We killed the yellow bird and threw it and the wicked book into the
fire."

"You should not have done that; you should have produced them here."

"We can get the book yet; for it was lying only partly burned near the
back-log. It would not burn, all we could do to it."

"Of course not. Witches' books never burn," said Squire Hathorne.

"Here are the images," said a constable, producing two little
rag-babies, that Dulcibel was making for a neighbor's children.

The crowd looked breathlessly on as "these diabolical instruments of
torture" were placed upon the table before the magistrates.

"Dulcibel Burton, stand up and look upon your accusers," said Squire
Hathorne.

Dulcibel had sunk upon a bench while the above conversation was going
on--she felt overpowered by the curious and malignant eyes turned upon
her from all parts of the room. Now she rose and faced the audience,
glancing around to see one loved face. At last her eyes met his; he was
standing erect, even proudly; his arms crossed over his breast, his face
composed and firm, his dark eyes glowing and determined. He dared not
utter a word, but he spoke to her from the inmost depths of his soul:
"Be firm, be courageous, be resolute!"

This was what Raymond meant to say; and this is what Dulcibel, with her
sensitive and impassioned nature, understood him to mean. And from that
moment a marked change came over her whole appearance. The shrinking,
timid girl of a moment before stood up serene but heroic, fearless and
undaunted; prepared to assert the truth, and to defy all the malice of
her enemies, if need be, to the martyr's death.

And she had need of all her courage. For, before three minutes had
passed--Squire Hathorne pausing to look over the deposition on which
the arrest had been made--Mistress Ann Putnam shrieked out, "Turn her
head away, she is tormenting us! See, her yellow-bird is whispering to
her!" And with that, she and her little daughter Ann, and Abigail
Williams and Sarah Churchill and Leah Herrick and several others, flung
themselves down on the floor in apparent convulsions.

"Oh, a snake is stinging me!" cried Leah Herrick.

"Her black horse is trampling on my breast!" groaned Sarah Churchill.

"Make her look away; turn her head!" cried several in the crowd. And one
of the constables caught Dulcibel by the arm, and turned her around
roughly.

"This is horrible!" cried Thomas Putnam--"and so young and fair-looking,
too!"

"Ah, they are the worst ones, Master Putnam," said his sympathetic
friend, the Rev. Master Parris.

"She looks young and pretty, but she may really be a hundred years old,"
said deacon Snuffles.

Quiet at last being restored, Magistrate Hathorne said:

"Dulcibel Burton, why do you torment Mistress Putnam and these others in
this grievous fashion?"

"I do not torment them," replied Dulcibel calmly, but a little
scornfully.

"Who does torment them, then?"

"How should I know--perhaps Satan."

"What makes you suppose that Satan torments them?"

"Because they tell lies."

"Do you know that Satan cannot torment these people except through the
agency of other human beings?"

"No, I do not."

"Well, he cannot--our wisest ministers are united upon that. Is it not
so, Master Parris?"

"That is God's solemn truth," was the reply.

"Who is it that torments you, Mistress Putnam?" continued Squire
Hathorne, addressing Mistress Ann Putnam, who had sent so many already
to prison and on the way to death.

Mistress Putnam was angered beyond measure at Dulcibel's intimation that
she and her party were instigated and tormented directly by the devil.
And yet she could not, if she would, bear falser witness than she
already had done against Rebecca Nurse and other women of equally good
family and reputation. But at this appeal of the Magistrate, she flung
her arms into the air, and spoke with the vehemence and excitement of a
half-crazy woman.

"It is she, Dulcibel Burton. She was a witch from her very birth. Her
father sold her to Satan before she was born, that he might prosper in
houses and lands. She has the witch's mark--a snake--on her breast, just
over her heart. I know it, because goodwife Bartley, the midwife, told
me so three years ago last March. Midwife Bartley is dead; but have a
jury of women examine her, and you will see that it is true."

At this, as all thought it, horrible charge, a cold thrill ran through
the crowd. They all had heard of witch-marks, but never of one like
this--the very serpent, perhaps, which had deluded Eve. Joseph Putnam
smiled disdainfully. "A set of stupid, superstitious fools!" he muttered
through his teeth. "Half the De Bellevilles had that mark."[1]

[Footnote 1: "Most part of this noble lineage carried upon their body
for a natural birth-mark, from their mother's womb, a snake."--_North_.]

"I will have that looked into," said Squire Hathorne. "In what shape
does the spectre come, Mistress Putnam?"

"In the shape of a yellow-bird. She whispers to it who it is that she
wants tormented, and it comes and pecks at my eyes."

Here she screamed out wildly, and began as if defending her eyes from an
invisible assailant.

"It is coming to me now," cried Leah Herrick, striking out fiercely.
"Oh, do drive it away!" shrieked Sarah Churchill, "it will put out our
eyes."

There was a scene of great excitement, several men drawing their swords
and pushing and slashing at the places where they supposed the spectral
bird might be.

Leah Herrick said the spectre that hurt her came oftenest in the shape
of a small black horse, like that which Dulcibel Burton was known to
keep and ride. Everybody supposed, she said, that the horse was itself a
witch, for it was perfectly black, with not a white hair on it, and
nobody could ride it but its mistress.

Here Sarah Churchill said she had seen Dulcibel Burton riding about
twelve o'clock one night, on her black horse, to a witches' meeting.

Ann Putnam, the child, said she had seen the same thing. One curious
thing about it was that Dulcibel had neither a saddle nor a bridle to
ride with. She thought this was very strange; but her mother told her
that witches always rode in that manner.

Here the two ministers of Salem, Rev. Master Parris and Rev. Master
Noyes, said that this was undeniably true, that it was a curious fact
that witches never used saddles nor bridles. Master Noyes explaining
further that there was no necessity for such articles, as the familiar
was instantly cognizant of every slightest wish or command of the witch
to whom he was subject, and going thus through the air, there being no
rocks or gullies or other rough places, there was no necessity of a
saddle. Both the magistrates and the people seemed to be very much
instructed by the remarks of these two godly ministers.

That "pious and excellent young man," Jethro Sands, here came forward
and testified as follows: He had been at one time on very intimate terms
with the accused; but her conduct on one occasion was so very singular
that he declined thereafter to keep company with her. Hearing one day
that she had gone to Master Joseph Putnam's, he had walked up the road
to meet her on her return to the village. He looked up after walking
about a mile, and saw her coming towards him on a furious gallop. There
seemed to have been a quarrel of some kind between her and her familiar,
for it would not stop all she could do to it. As she came up to him she
snatched a rod that he had cut in the woods, out of his hand, and that
moment the familiar stopped and became as submissive as a pet dog. He
could not understand what it meant, until it suddenly occurred to him
that the rod was a branch of witch-hazel!

Here the audience drew a long breath, the whole thing was satisfactorily
explained. Every one knew the magical power of witch-hazel.[2]

[Footnote 2: This and many other passages, as the reader will notice,
are quoted verbatim from the manuscript volume.]

Jethro further testified that Mistress Dulcibel freely admitted to him
that her horse was a witch; never speaking of the mare in fact but as a
"little witch." As might be expected, the horse was a most vicious
animal, worth nothing to anybody save one who was a witch himself. He
thought it ought to be stoned, or otherwise killed, at once.

The Rev. Master Noyes suggested that if it were handed over to his
reverend brother Parris, he might be able, by a course of religious
exercises, to cast out the evil spirit and render the animal
serviceable. The apostles and disciples, it would be remembered, often
succeeded in casting out evil spirits; though sometimes, we are told,
they lamentably failed.

The magistrates here consulted a few minutes, and Squire Hathorne then
ordered that the black mare should be handed over to the Rev. Master
Parris for his use, and that he might endeavor to exorcise the evil
spirit that possessed it.

Dulcibel had regarded with calm and serious eyes the concourse around
her while this wild evidence was being given. Notwithstanding the peril
of her position, she could not avoid smiling occasionally at the
absurdity of the charges made against her; while at other times her brow
and cheeks glowed with indignation at the maliciousness of her accusers.
Then she thought, how could I ever have injured these neighbors so
seriously that they have been led to conspire together to take my life?
Oh, if I had never come to Salem, to a place so overflowing with malice,
evil-speaking and all uncharitableness! Where there was so much
sanctimonious talk about religion, and such an utter absence of it in
those that prated the most of its possession. Down among the despised
Quakers of Pennsylvania there was not one-half as much talking about
religion but three times as much of that kindly charity which is its
essential life.

"Dulcibel Burton," said Squire Hathorne, "you have heard what these
evidence against you; what answer can you make to them?"

Blood will assert itself. The daughter of the old sea-captain, himself
of Norse descent on the mother's side, felt her father's spirit glowing
in her full veins.

"The charges that have been made are too absurd and ridiculous for
serious denial. The 'yellow bird' is my canary bird, Cherry, given me by
Captain Alden when we lived in Boston. He brought it home with him from
the West Indies. Ask him whether it is a familiar. My black horse
misbehaved on that afternoon Jethro Sands tells of, as I told him at the
time; simply because I had no whip. When he gave me his switch, the
vixenish animal came at once into subjection to save herself a good
whipping. It was not a hazel switch, his statement is false, and he
knows it, it was a maple one."

"And you mean to say, I suppose," shrieked out Mistress Ann Putnam,
"that you have no witch-mark either; that you do not carry the devil's
brand of a snake over your heart?"

"I have some such mark, but it is a birth-mark, and not a witch-mark. It
is a simple curving line of red," and the girl blushed crimson at being
compelled to such a reference to a personal peculiarity. But she
faltered not in her speech, though her tones were more indignant than
before. "It is not a peculiarity of mine, but of my mother's family.
Some say that a distant ancestor was once frightened by a large snake
coming into her chamber; and her child was born with this mark upon her
breast. That is all of it. There is no necessity of any examination, for
I admit the charge."

"Yes," screamed Mistress Putnam again, "your ancestress too was a noted
witch. It runs in the family. Go away with you!" she cried striking
apparently at something with her clenched hand. "It is her old great
grandmother! See, there she is! Off! Off! She is trying to choke me!"
endeavoring seemingly to unclasp invisible hands from her throat.

The other "afflicted" ones joined in the tumult. With one it was the
"yellow bird" pecking at her eyes, with another the black horse rearing
up and striking her with its hoofs. Leah Herrick cried that Dulcibel's
"spectre" was choking her.

"Hold her hands still!" ordered Squire Hathorne, and a constable sprang
to each side of the accused maiden and held her arms and hands in a
grasp of iron.

Joseph Putnam made an exclamation that almost sounded like an oath, and
made a step forward; but a firm hand was laid upon his shoulder. "Be
patient!" whispered Ellis Raymond, though his own mouth was twitching
considerably. "We are the anvil now; wait till our turn comes to be
sledgehammer!"

Such a din and babel as the "afflicted" kept up! By the curious power of
sympathy it affected the crowd almost to madness. If Dulcibel looked at
them, they cried she was tormenting them. If she looked upward in
resignation to Heaven, they also stared upwards with fixed, stiff necks.
If she leaned her head one side they did the same, until it seemed as if
their necks would be broken; and the jailers forced up Dulcibel's neck
with their coarse, dirty hands.

Dulcibel had not attended any of the other examinations, but similar
demonstrations on the part of the "afflicted" had been described to her.
It was very different, however, to hear of such things and to experience
them in her own person. And if she had been at all a nervous and less
healthy young woman, she might have been overcome by them, and even led
to admit, as so many others had admitted under similar influences, that
she really was a witch, and compelled by her master, the devil, could
not help tormenting these poor victims.

"Why do you not cease this?" at last cried Squire Hathorne, sternly and
wrathfully.

"Cease what?" she replied indignantly.

"Tormenting these poor, suffering children and women!"

"You see I am not tormenting them. Bid these men unloose my hands, they
are hurting me."

"They say your spectre and your familiar are tormenting them."

"They are bearing false witness against me."

"Who does hurt them then?"

"Their master, the devil, I suppose and his imps."

"Why should he hurt them?"

"Because they are liars, and bear false witness; being hungry for
innocent blood."

The spirit of the free-thinking, free-spoken old sea-captain--nurtured
by the free winds and the free waves for forty years--was fully alive
now in his daughter. A righteous, holy indignation at the abominable
farce that was going on with all its gross lying and injustice had taken
possession of her, and she cared no longer for the opinions of any one
around her, and thought not even of her lover looking on, but only of
truth and justice. "Yes, they are possessed with devils--being children
of their father, the devil!" she continued scornfully. "And they shall
have their reward. As for you, Ann Putnam, in seven years from this day
I summon you to meet those you have slain with your wicked, lying
tongue, at the bar of Almighty God! It shall be a long dying for you!"
Then, seeing Thomas Putnam by his wife's side, "And you, Thomas Putnam,
you puppet in a bad woman's hands, chief aider and abettor of her wicked
ways, you shall die two weeks before her, to make ready for her coming!
And you," turning to the constables on each side of her, "for your cruel
treatment of innocent women, shall die by this time next year!"

The constables loosened their grasp of her hands and shrank back in
dismay. The "afflicted" suddenly hushed their cries and regained their
composure, as they saw the accused maiden's eyes, lit up with the
wildness of inspiration, glancing around their circle with lightning
flashes that might strike at any moment.

Even Squire Hathorne's wine-crimsoned face paled, lest she would turn
around and denounce him too. Even if she were a witch, witches it was
known sometimes spoke truly. And when she slowly turned and looked upon
him, the haughty judge was ready to sink to the floor.

"As for you, John Hathorne, for your part in these wicked doings," here
she paused as if waiting to hear a supernatural voice, while the crowded
meeting-house was quiet as a tomb--"No! you are only grossly deluded;
you shall not die. But a curse shall be upon you and your descendants
for a hundred years. They shall not prosper. Then a Hathorne shall arise
who shall repudiate you and all your wicked works, and the curse shall
pass away!"

Squire Hathorne regained his courage the instant she said he should not
die, little he cared for misfortunes that might come upon his
descendants.

"Off with the witch to prison--we have heard enough!" he cried hoarsely.
"Tell the jailer to load her well with irons, hands and feet; and give
her nothing to eat but bread and water of repentance. She is committed
for trial before the special court, in her turn, and at the worshipful
judges' convenience."



CHAPTER XVIII.

Well, What Now?


The crowd drew long breaths as they emerged from the meeting-house. This
was the first time that the accused had fully turned upon the accusers.
It was a pity that it had not been done before; because such was the
superstition of the day, that to have your death predicted by one who
was considered a witch was no laughing matter. The blood ran cold even
in Mistress Ann Putnam's veins, as she thought of Dulcibel's prediction;
and the rest of the "afflicted" inwardly congratulated themselves that
they had escaped her malediction, and resolved that they would not be
present at her trial as witnesses against her, if they could possibly
avoid it. But then that might not be so easy.

Even the crowd of beholders were a little more careful in the utterance
of their opinions about Dulcibel than they had been relative to the
other accused persons. Not that they had much doubt as to the maiden's
being a born witch--the serpent-mark seemed to most of them a conclusive
proof of that--but what if one of those "spectres," the "yellow bird"
or the uncontrollable "black mare" should be near and listening to what
they were even then saying?

"What do I think about it?" said one of the crowd to his companion. "Why
I think that if he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon, he
who abuses a witch should be certain her yellow bird is not listening
above his left shoulder," and he gave a quick glance in the direction
alluded to, while half of those near him, as they heard his warning
words, did the same. And there was not much talking against Dulcibel
after this, among that portion of the villagers.

Ellis Raymond had heard this speech as he walked silently out of the
meeting-house with Joseph Putnam, and a grim smile flitted over his
face. He felt prouder than ever of his beautiful betrothed. He was not a
man who admired amazons or other masculine women, such, as in these
days, we call "strong-minded;" he liked a woman to keep in her woman's
sphere, such as the Creator had marked out for her by making her a
woman; but circumstances may rightly overrule social conventions, and
demand action suitable to the emergency. Standing at bay, among a pack
of howling wolves, the heroic is a womanly as well as manly quality;
and the gun and the knife as feminine implements, as the needle and the
scissors. Dulcibel had never reasoned about such things; she was a
maiden who naturally shrank from masculine self-assertion and publicity;
but, called to confront a great peril, she was true to the noble
instincts of her family and her race, and could meet falsehood with
indignant denial and contempt. How she had been led to utter those
predictions she never fully understood--not at the time nor afterwards.
She seemed to herself to be a mere reed through which some indignant
angel was speaking.

"Well," said Joseph Putnam, as they got clear of the crowd, "brother
Thomas and sister Ann have wakened up the tiger at last. They will be
"afflicted" now in dead earnest. Did you see how sister Ann, with all
her assurance, grew pale and almost fainted? It serves her right; she
deserves it; and Thomas too, for being such a dupe and fool."

"Do you think it will come true?" said Master Raymond.

"Of course it will; the prediction will fulfill itself. Thomas is
superstitious beyond all reasonableness; and good Mistress Ann, my
pious sister-in-law, is almost as bad as he is, notwithstanding her
lies and trickery. Do you know what I saw that Leah Herrick doing?"

"What was it?"

"In her pretended spasms, when bending nearly double, she was taking a
lot of pins out of the upper edge of her stomacher with her mouth,
preparatory of course, to making the accusation that it was Dulcibel's
doings."

"But she did not?"

"No, it was just before the time that Dulcibel scared them so with the
predictions; and Leah was so frightened, lest she also should be
predicted against, that she quietly spit all the pins into her hand
again."

"Ah, that was the game played by a girl about ten years ago at
Taunton-Dean, in England. Judge North told my father about it. One of
the magistrates saw her do it."

"Well, now, what shall we do? They will convict her just as surely as
they try her."

"Undoubtedly!"

"Shall we attack and break open the jail some dark night, sword in hand?
I can raise a party of young men, friends of the imprisoned, to do it;
they only want a leader."

"And all of you go off into perpetual banishment and have all your
property confiscated?"

"I do not care. I am ready to do it."

"If you choose to encounter such a risk for others, I have no objection.
I believe myself that if the friends and relatives of the accused
persons would take up arms in defense of them, and demand their release,
it would be the very manliest and most sensible thing they could do. But
the consciences of the people here make cowards of them. They are all in
bondage to a blind and conceited set of ministers, and to a narrow and
bigoted creed."

"Then what do you plan?"

"Dulcibel's escape. You know that I managed to see her for a few minutes
early this morning. She has a friend within the prison. Wait till we get
on our horses, and I will explain it all to you."



CHAPTER XIX.

Antipas Works a Miracle.


The next morning Antipas Newton was brought before the Magistrates for
examination. Antipas seemed so quiet and peaceful in his demeanor, that
Squire Hathorne could hardly credit the story told by the constables of
his violent behavior on the night of the arrest.

"I thought you were a Quaker," said he to the prisoner.

"No, only half Quaker; the other half gospeller," replied the old man
meekly.

Mistress Ann was not present; her husband brought report that she was
sick in bed. Probably she did not care to come, the game being too
insignificant. Perhaps she had not quite recovered from the stunning
effect of Dulcibel's prediction. Though it was not likely that a doom
that was to be seven years in coming, would, after the first impression
was past, be felt very keenly. There was time for so much to happen
during seven years.

But the Rev. Master Parris's little niece, Abigail Williams, was
present, and several other older members of the "circle," prepared to
witness against the old man to any extent that seemed to be necessary.

After these had made their customary charges, and had gone through some
of their usual paroxysms, Joseph Putnam, accompanied by Goodman Buckley,
came forward.

"This is all folly," said Joseph Putnam stoutly. "We all know Antipas
Newton; and that he has been deranged in his intellects, and of unsound
mind for the last twenty years. He is generally peaceful and quiet;
though in times of excitement like the present, liable to be driven into
outbreaks of violent madness. Here is his employer, Goodman Buckley, who
of course knows him best, and who will testify to all this even more
conclusively than I can."

Then Goodman Buckley took the oath with uplifted hand, and gave similar
evidence. No one had even doubted for twenty years past, that Antipas
was simple-minded. He often said and did strange things; but only when
everybody around him was greatly excited, was he at all liable to
violent outbreaks of passion.

Squire Hathorne seemed half-convinced; but the Reverend Master Parris
rose from the bench where he had been sitting, and said he would like
to be heard for a few moments. Permission being accorded: "What is
insanity?" said he. "What is the scriptural view of it? Is it anything
but a judgment of the Lord for sin, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar; or
a possession by a devil, or devils, as in the Case of the Gadarene who
made his dwelling among the tombs as told in the fifth chapter of Mark
and the eighth of Luke? That these were real devils is evident--for when
permission was given them to enter into the herd of swine, they entered
into them, and the swine ran down a steep place into the sea and were
drowned. And as there were about two thousand swine, there must have
been at least two thousand devils in that one so-called insane man;
which no doubt accounted for his excessive violence. After the devils
had left him, we are told that his countrymen came and saw him sitting
at the feet of Jesus, no longer naked, but clothed and in his right
mind. Therefore it follows as a logical deduction, that his not being
before in his right mind was because he was possessed with devils."

The magistrates and people evidently were greatly impressed with what
Master Parris had said. And, as he sat down, Master Noyes, who was
sitting beside his reverend brother, rose and said that he considered
the argument they had just heard unanswerable. It could only be refuted
by doubting the infallibility of the Scripture itself. And he would
further add, as to the case before them, that this so-called insanity of
the prisoner had not manifested itself until he had been repeatedly
guilty of harboring two of that heretical and abominable sect called
Quakers and had incurred imprisonment and heavy fines for so doing; to
pay which fines his property had been rightfully sold. This punishment,
and the death of his daughter by the decree of a just God, apparently
not being sufficient to persuade him of the error of his ways, no doubt
he had been given over to the devil, that he might become a sign and a
warning to evil-doers. But, instead of repenting of his evil ways, he
seems to have entered the service of Captain Burton, who was always
known to be very loose in his religious views and observances; and who
it now seems was himself a witch, or, as he might be rather more
correctly termed, a wizard, and the father of the dangerous girl who was
properly committed for trial yesterday. Going thus downward from bad to
worse, this Antipas had at last become a witch himself; roaming around
tormenting godly and unoffending people to please his mistress and her
Satanic master. In conclusion he said that he fully agreed with his
reverend brother, that what some of the world's people, who thought
themselves wise above that which was written, called insanity, was
simply, as taught in the holy scriptures, a possession by the devil.

Magistrate Hathorne nodded to Magistrate Corwin, and Magistrate Corwin
nodded in turn decidedly to his learned brother. They evidently
considered that the ministers had settled that point.

"Well, then," said Joseph Putnam, a little roughly to the ministers,
"why do you not do as the Savior did, cast out the devils, that Antipas
may sit down here in his right mind? We do not read that any of these
afflicted people in Judea were cast into prison. In all cases they were
pitied, not punished."

"This is an unseemly interruption, Master Putnam," said Squire Hathorne
sternly. "We all know that the early disciples were given the power to
cast out devils and that they exercised the power continually, but that
in later times the power has been withdrawn. If it were not so, our
faithful elders would cast out the spectres that are continually
tormenting these poor afflicted persons."

While this discussion had been going on, Antipas had been listening to
all that was said with the greatest attention. Once only had he
manifested any emotion; that was when the reference had been made to the
death of his daughter, who had died from her exposure to the severity of
the winter season in Salem jail. At this time he put his hand to his
eyes and wiped away a few tears. Before and after this, the expression
of his face was rather as of one who was pleased and amused at the idea
of being the center of attraction to such a large and goodly company. At
the conclusion of Squire Hathorne's last remark, a new idea seemed to
enter the old man's confused brain. He looked steadily at the line of
the "afflicted" before him, who were now beginning a new display of
paroxysms and contortions, and putting his right hand into one of his
pockets, he drew forth a coil of stout leather strap. Grasping one end
of it, he shouted, "I can heal them! I know what will cure them!" and
springing from between the two constables that guarded him, began
belaboring the "afflicted" with his strap over their backs and shoulders
in a very energetic fashion.

Dividing his energies between keeping off the constable and "healing the
afflicted," and aided rather than hindered by Joseph Putnam's
intentionally ill-directed efforts to restrain him, the insane man
managed to administer in a short time no small amount of very exemplary
punishment. And, as Masters Putnam and Raymond agreed in talking over
the scene afterwards, he certainly did seem to effect an instantaneous
cure of the "afflicted," for they came to their sober senses at the
first cut of the leather strap, and rushed pell-mell down the passage as
rapidly as they could regardless of the other tormenting "spectres."

"This is outrageous!" said Squire Hathorne hotly to the constables as
Antipas was at last overpowered by a host of assailants, and stood now
firmly secured and panting between the two officers. "How dared you
bring him here without being handcuffed?"

"We had no idea of his breaking out anew, he seemed as meek as a lamb,"
said constable Herrick.

"Why, we thought he was a Quaker!" added his assistant.

"I am a Quaker!" said Antipas, looking a little dangerous again.

"You are not."

"Thou liest!" said the insane man. "This is one of my off days."

Joseph Putnam laughed outright; and a few others, who were not
church-members, laughed with him.

"Silence!" thundered Squire Hathorne. "Is this a time for idle levity?"
and he glared around the room.

"We have heard enough," continued the Squire, after a few words with his
colleague. "This is a dangerous man. Take him off again to prison; and
see that his chains are strong enough to keep him out of mischief."



CHAPTER XX.

Master Raymond Goes to Boston.


Whatever the immediate effect of Dulcibel's prediction had been,
Mistress Ann Putnam was now about again, as full of wicked plans, and as
dangerous as ever. She knew, for everybody knew, that Master Ellis
Raymond had gone to Boston. In a village like Salem at that time, such
fact could hardly be concealed.

"What had he gone for?

"To see a friend," Joseph Putnam had said.

"What friend?" queried Mistress Ann. That seemed important for her to
know.

She had accused Dulcibel in the first place as a means of hurting Joseph
Putnam. But now since the trial, she hated her for herself. It was not
so much on account of the prediction, as on account of Dulcibel's
terrific arraignment of her. The accusation that her husband was her
dupe and tool was, on account of its palpable truth, that which gave her
perhaps the greatest offence. The charge being once made, others might
see its truth also. Thus all the anger of her cunning, revengeful nature
was directed against Dulcibel.

And just at this time she heard from a friend in Boston, who sent her a
budget of news, that Master Raymond had taken dinner with Captain Alden.
"Ah," she thought, "I see it now." The name was a clue to her. Captain
Alden was an old friend of Captain Burton. He it was, so Dulcibel had
said, from whom she had the gift of the "yellow bird."

She knew Captain Alden by reputation. Like the other seamen of the time
he was superstitious in some directions, but not at all in others. He
would not for the world leave port on a Friday--or kill a mother Carey's
chicken--or whistle at sea; but as to seeing witches in pretty young
girls, or sweet old ladies, that was entirely outside of the average
seaman's thoughts. Toward all women in fact, young or old, pretty or
ugly, every sailor's heart at that day, as in this, warmed
involuntarily.

She also knew that the seamen as a class were rather inclined to what
the godly called license in their religious opinions. Had not the
sea-captains in Boston Harbor, some years before, unanimously refused to
carry the young Quakeress, Cassandra Southwick, and her brother, to the
West Indies and sell them there for slaves, to pay the fines incurred by
their refusal to attend church regularly? Had not one answered for the
rest, as paraphrased by a gifted descendant of the Quakers?--

   "Pile my ship with bars of silver--pack with coins of Spanish gold,
   From keelpiece up to deck-plank the roomage of her hold,
   By the living God who made me! I would sooner in your bay
   Sink ship and crew and cargo, than bear this child away!"

And so Master Raymond, who it was rumored had been a great admirer of
Dulcibel Burton, was on a visit to Boston, to see her father's old
friend, Captain John Alden! Mistress Putnam thought she could put two
and two together, if any woman could. She would check-mate that game--and
with one of her boldest strokes, too--that should strike fear into the
soul of even Joseph Putnam himself, and teach him that no one was too
high to be above the reach of her indignation.

The woman was so fierce in this matter, that I sometimes have
questioned, could she ever have loved and been scorned by Joseph Putnam?



CHAPTER XXI.

A Night Interview.


A few days passed and Master Raymond was back again; with a pleasant
word and smile for all he met, as he rode through the village. Mistress
Ann Putnam herself met him on the street and he pulled up his horse at
the side-path as she stopped, and greeted her.

"So you have been to Boston?" she said.

"Yes, I thought I would take a little turn and hear what was going on up
there."

"Who did you see--any of our people?"

"Oh, yes--the Nortons and the Mathers and the Higginsons and the
Sewalls--I don't know all.

"Good day; remember me to my kind brother Joseph and his wife," said
she, and Raymond rode on.

"What did that crafty creature wish to find out by stopping me?" he
thought to himself.

"He did not mention Captain Alden. Yes, he went to consult him," thought
Mistress Putnam.

Master Joseph Putnam was so anxious to meet his friend, that he was
standing at the turning in the lane that led up to his house.

"Well, what did the Captain say?"

"He was astounded. Then he gave utterance to some emphatic expressions
about hell-fire and damnation which he had probably heard in church."

"I know no more appropriate occasion to use them," commented young
Master Joseph drily. "If it were not for certain portions of the psalms
and the prophets, I could hardly get through the time comfortably
nowadays."

"If we can get her safely to Boston, he will see that a fast vessel is
ready to take us to New York; and he will further see that his own
vessel--the Colony's rather, which he commands--never catches us."

"That looks well. I managed to see Dulcibel for a few minutes to-day,
and"--

"How is she?" inquired Raymond eagerly. "Does she suffer much?"

"Not very much I think. No more than is necessary to save appearances.
She told me that the jailer was devoted to her. He will meet you
to-night after dark on the hill, to arrange matters."

"Say that we get from the prison by midnight. Then it will take at least
three hours riding to reach Boston--though we shall not enter the
town."

"Three hours! Yes, four," commented his friend; "or even five if the
night be dark and stormy; and such a night has manifest advantages.
Still, as I suppose you must wait for a northwest wind, that is pretty
sure to be a clear one."

"Yes, the main thing is to get out into the open sea. Captain Alden
plans to procure a Danish vessel, whose skipper once out of sight of
land, will oppose any recapture by force."

"I suppose however you will sail for New York?"

"Yes, that is the nearest port and we shall be perfectly safe there.
Still Jamestown would do. The Delaware is nearer than the James, but I
am afraid the Quakers would not be able to protect us, as they are too
good to oppose force by force."

"Too good! too cranky!" said Master Putnam. "A pretty world the rascals
would make of it, if the honest men were too good to fight. It seems to
me there is something absolutely wicked in their non-resistant notions."

"Yes, it is no worse to kill a two-legged tiger or wolf than a
four-legged one; one has just as good a right to live as the other."

"A better, I think," replied Master Putnam. "The tiger or wolf is
following out his proper nature; the human tiger or wolf is violating
his."

"You know I rather like the Quakers," rejoined Master Raymond. "I like
their general idea of considering the vital spirit of the Scripture more
than the mere outward letter. But in this case, it seems to me, they are
in bondage to the mere letter 'thou shalt not kill;' not seeing that to
kill, in many cases, is really to save, not only life, but all that
makes life valuable."

That evening just about dusk, the two young men mounted their horses,
and rode down one of the roads that led to Salem town, leaving Salem
village on the right--thinking best not to pass through the village.
Within a mile or so of the town, Master Putnam said, "here is the place"
and led the way into a bridle path that ran into the woods. In about
five minutes he halted again, gave a low whistle, and a voice said, a
short distance from them, "Who are you, strangers?"

"Friends in need," replied Master Putnam.

"Then ye are friends indeed," said the voice; and Robert Foster, the
jailer, stepped from behind the trunk of a tree into the path.

"Well, Robie, how's the little girl?" said Master Joseph.

"Bonnie as could be expected," was the answer.

"She sends word to you, sir," addressing Master Raymond, "that you had
better not come to see her. She knows well all you could say--just as
well as if she heard it, the brave, bonnie lassie!"

"I know it," replied Master Raymond. "Tell her I think of her every
moment--and that things look bright."

"Let us get out of this glooming, and where we can see a rod around us,"
suggested the jailer. "I like to see at least as far as my elbow, when I
am talking confidentially."

"I will go--you stay here with the horses," said Raymond to Master
Putnam. "I do not want you mixed up with this thing any more than is
absolutely necessary."

"Oh, I do not care for the risk--I like it," replied his friend.

"Stay, nevertheless," insisted Master Raymond. And getting down from his
horse, and handing the bridle rein to Master Putnam, he followed the
jailer out into an open space, where the rocks coming to the surface,
had prevented the growth of the forest. Here it was a little lighter
than it had been in the wood-path; but, the clouds having gathered over
the sky since they started, it was not possible to see very far around
them.

"Hold up there!" cried Robie, catching Raymond by the arm--"why, man,
do you mean to walk straight over the cliff?"

"I did not know any chasm was there," said Raymond. "I never saw this
place before. Master Putnam said it was a spot where we should not be
likely to be molested. And it does look desolate enough." He leaned back
against one of two upright planks which seemed to have been placed there
for some purpose, and looked at a little pile of dirt and stones not far
from his feet.

"No," said the jailer. "I opine we shall not be disturbed here. I do not
believe there is more than three persons in Salem that would be willing
to come to this hill at this time of day,--and they are here already."
And the jailer smiled audibly.

"Why, how is that?"

"Because they are all so damnably sooperstitious!" replied Robie, with
an air of vast superiority.

"Ah! is this place then said to be haunted?"

"Yes,--poor Goodwife Bishop's speerit is said to haunt it. But as she
never did anybody any harm while she was living, I see not why she
should harm any one now that she is dead."

"And so brave Bridget was executed near this place? Where was the foul
murder done?"

"You are leaning against the gallows," said Robie quietly. "And that
pile of stones at your feet is over her grave."

Raymond was a brave man, physically and morally, and not at all
superstitious; but he recoiled involuntarily from the plank against
which he had been leaning, and no longer allowed his right foot to rest
upon the top stones of the little heap that marked the grave.

"Oh, I thought you knew it," said the jailer calmly. "I say, let them
fear goodwife Bishop's ghost who did her wrong. As for me, I favored her
all I dared; and her last word to me was a blessing. But now for your
honor's business, I have not long to stay."

"I have planned all but the getting out of jail. Can it be easily done?"

"As easy as walking out of a room."

"Will you not be suspected?"

"Not at all, I think--they are so mightily sooperstitious. I shall lock
everything tight after her; and make up a good story about my wakening
up in the middle of the night, just in time to see her flying out of the
top o' the house, on her black mare, and thrashing the animal with a
broom-handle. The bigger the lie the quicker they will believe it."

"If they should suspect you, let Master Putnam know, and he will get you
off, if wit and money together can do it."

"Oh, I believe that," said the jailer. "Master Putnam is well known in
all these parts, as a man that never deserts a friend; and I'll warrant
you are one of the same grit."

"My hand on it, Robie!" and he shook the jailer's hand warmly. "I shall
never forget this service."

"I am a rough, ignorant man," replied Robie quietly; "but I know gentle
blood when I see it."

"What time of night will suit you best?"

"Just about twelve o'clock at night. That is the time all the ghosts and
goblins and weetches choose; and when all honest people are in their
beds, and in their first and soundest sleep."

"We shall not be able to give you much warning, for we must wait a
favorable wind and tide."

"So you let me know by nightfall, it will do."

"And now for the last point--what do I pay you? I know we are asking you
to run a great risk. The men that whip gentlewomen, at the cart's tail,
and put little children into jail, and sell them as slaves, will not
spare you, if they find out what you have done. Thank God, I am rich
enough to pay you well for taking such a fearful risk and shall be only
too glad to reward your unselfish deed."

"Not a shilling!" replied Robie proudly. "I am not doing this thing for
pay. It is for the old Captain's little girl, that I have held in these
arms many a day--and for the old Captain himself. While these bloody
landsmen," continued the old sailor, "plague and persecute each other,
Master Raymond, what is that to us, we men of the sea, who have a creed
and a belief of our own, and who never even think of hurting a woman or
a child? But as for these landsmen, sticking at home all the time, how
can they be expected to know anything--compared to men that have doubled
both Capes, and seen people living all sorts of ways, and believing all
sorts of things? No, no," and Robie laughed disdainfully, "let these
land-lubbers attend to their own affairs; but let them keep their hands
off us seamen and our families."

"So be it then, Robie; I honor your feelings! But nevertheless I shall
not forget you. And one of these days, if we get off safely, you shall
hear from me again about this matter."

And then, their plans settled, Robie trudged down to the town; while the
young men rode back the way they had come, to Master Putnam's.



CHAPTER XXII.

The Reverend Master Parris Exorcises "Little Witch."


It will be remembered that Squire Hathorne had directed that Dulcibel's
little horse should be handed over to the Reverend Master Parris, in
order that it might be brought into due subjection.

This had pleased Master Parris very much. In the first place he was of a
decidedly acquisitive turn--as had been shown in his scheming to obtain
a gift of the minister's house and orchard--and moreover, if he was able
to cast out the devil that evidently possessed this horse, and make it a
sober and docile riding animal, it would not only be the gain of a very
pretty beast, but would prove that something of the power of casting out
devils, which had been given to the disciples of old, had come down unto
him. In such a case, his fame probably would equal, if not surpass, that
of the great Boston ministers, Increase and Cotton Mather.

Goodman Buckley had brought down the little mare, the next morning after
the examination. The mare would lead very well, if the person leading
her was on horseback--very badly, if he were not, except under peculiar
circumstances. She was safely housed in the minister's stable, and gazed
at with mingled fear and admiration by the family and their immediate
neighbors. Master Parris liked horses, had some knowledge of the right
way to handle them, and showed more wisdom in his treatment of this
rather perverse animal of Dulcibel's than he had ever manifested in his
church difficulties.

He began by what he called a course of conciliation--to placate the
devil, as it were. How he could bring his conscience to allow of this, I
am not able to understand. But then the mare, if the devil were once
cast out, would be, on account of her rare beauty, a very valuable
animal. And so the minister, twice a day, made a point of going into the
little passage, at the head of the stall, speaking kindly to the animal,
and giving her a small lump of maple sugar.

Like most of her sex, Susannah--as Master Parris had renamed her,
knowing the great importance of a good name--was very fond of sugar; and
her first apparent aversion to the minister seemed gradually to change
into a kind of tacit respect and toleration, under the influence of his
daily medications. Finally, the wary animal would allow him to pat her
neck without striking at him with one of her front feet, or trying to
bite him; and even to stroke her glossy flanks without lunging at him
with her hind heels, in an exceedingly dangerous fashion.

But spiritual means also were not neglected. The meeting-house was very
near, and the mare was brought over regularly when there were religious
services, and fastened in the near vicinity of the other more sober and
orthodox horses, that she might learn how to behave and perhaps the evil
spirit be thus induced to abandon one so constantly exposed to the
doubtless unpleasant sounds (to it) of psalm and prayer and sermon.

A horse is an imitative animal, and very susceptible to
impressions,--both of a material and a mental character--and I must
confess that these proceedings of the minister's were very well adapted
to the object he had in view.

The minister also had gone farther--but of this no one at the time knew
but himself. He had gone into the stable on a certain evening, when his
servant John Indian was off on an errand; and had pronounced a prayer
over the possessed animal winding up with an exorcism which ought to
have been sufficient to banish any reasonable devil, not only from the
mare, but from the neighborhood. As he concluded, what seemed to be a
huge creature, with outstretched wings, had buffeted him over the ears,
and then disappeared through the open window of the stable. The creature
was in the form of a big bat; but then it was well known that this was
one of the forms which evil spirits were most fond of assuming.

The minister therefore had strong reasons for supposing that the good
work was now accomplished; and that he should find the mare hereafter a
Susannah not only in name but in nature--a black lily, as it were. But
of course this could not be certainly told, unless some one should
attempt to ride her; and he suggested it one day to John Indian. But
John Indian--unknown to anybody but himself--had already tried the
experiment; and after a fierce contest, was satisfied with his share of
the glory. His answer was:--

"No, no, master--debbil hab no 'spect for Indian man. Master he good
man! gospel man! debbil 'fraid of him--him too much for debbil!"

This seemed very reasonable for a poor, untutored Indian. Mistress
Parris, too, said that she was certain he could succeed if any one
could. The evil spirits would be careful how they conducted themselves
towards such a highly respected and godly minister as her revered
husband. Several of her acquaintances, pious and orthodox goodwives of
the village, said the same thing. Master Parris thought he was a very
good horseman besides; and began to take the same view. There was the
horse, and he was the man!

So one afternoon John Indian saddled and bridled the mare, and brought
her up to the horse-block. Susannah had allowed herself to be saddled
without the slightest manifestation of ill-humor; probably the idea of
stretching her limbs a little, was decidedly pleasant in view of the
small amount of exercise she had taken lately.

But the wisest plan was not thought of. The minister's niece, Abigail
Williams--one of the "afflicted"--had looked upon the black mare with
longing eyes; and if she had made the experiment, it probably would have
been successful. But they did not surmise that it might be the man's
saddle and mode of riding, to which the animal was entirely
unaccustomed, that were at the bottom of the difficulty. And, besides,
Master Parris wanted the mare for his own riding, not for the women
folks of his household.

Detained by various matters, it was not until quite late in the
afternoon, that the minister found time to try the experiment of riding
the now unbewitched animal. It was getting too near night to ride very
far, but he could at least try a short ride of a mile or so; which
perhaps would be better for the first attempt than a longer one. So he
came out to the horse-block, attended by his wife and Abigail Williams,
and a couple of parishioners who had been holding a consultation with
him, but had stopped a moment to see him ride off upon the animal of
which so many marvelous stories had been told.

"Yes," said the minister, as he came out to the horse-block, in answer
to a remark made by one of his visitors, "I think I have been able with
the Lord's help, to redeem this animal and make her a useful member of
society. You will observe that she now manifests none of that
viciousness for which formerly she was so noted."

The mare did stand as composedly and peacefully as the most dignified
minister could desire.

"You will remember that she has never been ridden by any one, man or
woman, save her witch mistress Dulcibel--Jezebel, I think would be a
more fitting name for her, considering her wicked doings."

Here Master Parris took the bridle rein from John Indian and threw his
right leg over the animal. As the foot and leg came down on that side,
and the stirrup gave her a smart crack, the mare's ears, which had been
pricked up, went backwards and she began to prance around, John Indian
still holding her by the mouth.

"Let her go, John," said the minister; "she does not like to be held,"
and he tightened the rein.

John, by his master's orders, had put on a curbbit; in place of the
easy snaffle to which the mare had always been accustomed. And now as
the minister tightened the rein, and the chain of the curb began to
press upon and pain the mouth of the sensitive creature, she began to
back and rear in a most excited fashion.

"Loose de rein!" cried John Indian.

The minister did so. But the animal now was fully alarmed; and no
loosening or tightening would avail much. She was her old self again--as
bewitched as ever. She reared, she plunged, she kicked, she sidled, and
went through all the motions, which, on previous occasions, she had
always found eventually successful in ridding her back of its undesired
burden.

"Oh, do get off of the wild beast," cried Mistress Parris, in great
alarm.

"She is still bewitched," cried Abigail Williams. "I see a spectre now,
tormenting her with a pitchfork."

"Oh, Samuel, you will be killed!--do get off that crazy beast!" again
cried weeping Mistress Parris.

"'Get off!' yes!" thought the minister; "but how am I going to do it,
with the beast plunging and tearing in this fashion?" The animal
evidently wanted him off, and he was very anxious to get off; but she
would not hold still long enough for him to dismount peaceably.

"Hold her while I dismount!" he cried to John Indian. But when John
Indian came near to take hold of the rein by her mouth, the mare snapped
at him viciously with her teeth; and then wheeled around and flung out
her heels at his head, in the most embarrassing manner.

Finally, as with a new idea, the mare started down the lane at a quick
gallop, turned to the left, where a rivulet had been damned up into a
little pond not more than two feet deep, and plunged into the water,
splashing it up around her like a many jetted fountain.

By this time, the minister, being only human, naturally was very angry;
and commenced lashing her sides with his riding whip to get her into the
lane again. This made the fiery little creature perfectly desperate, and
she reared up and backwards, until she came down plump into the water;
so that, if the saddle girth had not broken, and the saddle come off,
and the minister with it, she might have tumbled upon him and perhaps
seriously hurt him. But, as it was, no great damage was done; and the
bridle also breaking, the mare spit the bit out of her mouth, and went
down the lane in a run to the road, and thence on into the now
fast-gathering night, no one could see whither.

Mistress Parris, John Indian and the rest were by this time at the side
of the pond, and ready to receive the chapfallen minister as he emerged
with the saddle and the broken bridle from the water.

"You are a sight, Samuel Parris!" said his wife, in that pleasant tone
with which many wives are apt to receive their liege lords upon such
unpleasant occasions. "Do get into the house at once. You will catch
your death of cold, I know. And such a mess your clothes will be! But I
only wonder you are not killed--trying to ride a mad witch's horse like
that is."

The minister made no reply. The situation transcended words. And did not
allow even of sympathy, as his visitors evidently thought--not at least
until he got on some clean and dry clothes. So they simply shook their
heads, and took their course homewards. While the bedraggled and
dripping Master Parris made his way to the house wiping the water and
mud from his face with his wife's handkerchief, and stopping to shake
himself well, before he entered the door, lest, as his wife said, "he
should spoil everything in his chamber."

Abigail Williams, when she went to see Mistress Ann Putnam that night,
had a marvelous tale to tell; which in the course of the next day, went
like wildfire through the village, growing still more and more marvelous
as it went.

Abigail had seen, as I have already said, the spectre of a witch goading
the furious animal with a pitchfork. When the horse tore down the lane,
it came to the little brook and of course could not cross it--for a
witch cannot cross running water. Therefore, in its new access of fury,
it sprang into the pond--and threw off the minister. Abigail further
declared that then, dashing down the lane it came to the gate which shut
it off from the road, and took the gate in a flying leap. But the animal
never came down again. It was getting quite dark then, but she could
still plainly see that a witch was upon its back, belaboring it with a
broomstick. And she knew very well who that witch was. It was the
"spectre" of Dulcibel Burton--for it had a scarlet bodice on, just such
as Dulcibel nearly always wore. They two--the mare and its rider--went
off sailing up into the sky, and disappeared behind a black cloud. And
Abigail was almost certain that just as they reached the cloud, there
was a low rumbling like thunder.

It was noticeable that every time Abigail told this story, she
remembered something that she had not before thought of; until in the
course of a week or two, there were very few stories in the "Arabian
Nights" that could surpass it in marvelousness.

As the mare had not returned to her old stable at Goodman Buckley's, and
could not be heard of in any other direction, Abigail's story began to
commend itself even to the older and cooler heads of the village. For if
the elfish creature had not vanished in the black cloud, to the sound
of thunder, where was she?

Joseph Putnam, and his household however held a different view of the
subject, but they wisely kept their own counsel; though they had many a
sly joke among themselves at the credulity of their neighbors. They knew
that a little while after dark, a strange noise had been heard at the
barn, and that one of the hired men going out, had found Dulcibel's
horse, without saddle or bridle, pawing at the door of the stable for
admission. As this was a place the animal had been in the habit of
coming to, and where she was always well treated and even petted, it was
very natural that she should fly here from her persecutors, as she
doubtless considered them.

Upon being told of it, and not knowing what had occurred Master Joseph
thought it most prudent not to put the animal into his stable, but
ordered the man to get half-a-peck of oats, and some hay, and take the
mare to a small cow-pen, in the woods in an out of the way place, where
she might be for years, and no one outside his own people be any the
wiser for it. The mare seemed quite docile, and was easily led, being in
company with the oats, of which a handful occasionally was given to
her; and so, being watered at a stream near by and fed daily, she was
no doubt far more comfortable than she would have been in the black
cloud that Abigail Williams was perfectly ready to swear she had seen
her enter and where though there might be plenty of water, oats
doubtless were not often meet with.



CHAPTER XXIII.

Master Raymond Also Complains of an "Evil Hand."


Master Raymond had everything now prepared upon his part, and was
awaiting a message from Captain Alden, to the effect that he had made a
positive engagement with the Danish captain.

He had caught a serious cold on his return from Boston and, turning the
matter over in his mind--for it is a wise thing to try to get some good
result out of even apparently evil occurrences--he had called in the
village doctor.

But the good Doctor's medicine did not seem to work as it ought to--for
one reason, Master Raymond regularly emptied the doses out of the
window; thinking as he told Master Joseph, to put them where they would
do the most good. And when the Doctor came, and found that neither
purging nor vomiting had been produced, these with bleeding and sweating
being the great panaceas of that day--as perhaps of this--he was
naturally astonished. In a case where neither castor oil, senna and
manna, nor large doses of Glauber's salts would work, a medical man was
certainly justified in thinking that something must be wrong.

Master Raymond suggested whether "an evil hand" might not be upon him.
This was the common explanation at that time in Salem and its
neighborhood. The doctors and the druggists nowadays miss a great deal
in not having such an excuse made ready to their hands--it would account
alike for adulterated drugs and ill-judged remedies.

Master Raymond had the reputation of being rich, and the Doctor had been
mortified by the bad behavior of his medicines--for if a patient be not
cured, if he is at least vigorously handled, there seems to be something
that can with propriety be heavily charged for. But if a doctor does
nothing--neither cures, nor anything else--with what face can he bring
in a weighty bill?

And so good Doctor Griggs readily acquiesced in his patient's
supposition that "an evil hand," was at work, and even suggested that he
should bring Abigail Williams or some other "afflicted" girl with him
the next time he came, to see with her sharpened eyes who it was that
was bewitching him.

But Master Raymond declined the offer--at least for the present. If the
thing continued, and grew worse, he might be able himself to see who it
was. Why should he not be as able to do it as Abigail Williams, or any
other of the "afflicted" circle? Of course the doctor was not able to
answer why; there seemed to be no good reason why one set of "afflicted"
people should have a monopoly of the accusing business.

Of course this came very quickly from the Doctor to Mistress Ann
Putnam--for he was a regular attendant of that lady, whose nervous
system indeed was in a fearful state by this time. And she puzzled a
good deal over it. Did Master Raymond intend to accuse anyone? Who was
it? Or was it merely a hint thrown out, that it was a game that two
parties could play at?

But then she smiled--she had the two ministers, and through them all the
other ministers of the colony--the magistrates and judges--and the
advantages of the original position. Imitators always failed. Still she
rather liked the young man's craft and boldness--Joseph Putnam would
never have thought of such a thing. But still let him beware how he
attempted to thwart her plans. He would soon find that she was the
stronger.

Joseph Putnam then began to answer inquiries as to the health of his
guest,--that he was not much better, and thought somewhat of going up to
Boston for further medical advice--as the medicines given him so far did
not seem to work as well as they should do.

"Could he bear the ride?"

"Oh, very well indeed--his illness had not so far affected his strength
much."



CHAPTER XXIV.

Master Raymond's Little Plan Blocked.


"Our game is blocked!" said Joseph Putnam to Master Raymond as he rode
up one afternoon soon after, and dismounted at the garden gate, where
his guest was awaiting him, impatient to hear if anything had yet come
from Captain Alden.

"What do you mean?" said his guest.

"Mean? Why, that yon she-wolf is too much for us. Captain Alden is
arrested!"

"What! Captain John Alden!"

"Yes, Captain John Alden!"

"On what charge?"

Master Joseph smiled grimly, "For witchcraft!"

"Nonsense!"

"Yes, devilish nonsense! but true as gospel, nevertheless."

"And he submits to it?"

"With all around him crazy, he cannot help it. Besides, as an officer of
the government, he must submit to the laws."

"On whose complaint?"

"Oh, the she-wolf's of course--that delectable smooth-spoken wife of my
brother Thomas. How any man can love a catty creature like that, beats
me out."

"I suppose she found out that I went frequently to see the Captain, when
in Boston?"

"I suppose so."

"Who could have informed her?"

"Her master, the devil, I suppose."

"Where is the Captain to be examined?"

"Oh, here in Salem, where his accusers are. It comes off tomorrow. They
lose no time you see."

"Well, I would not have believed it possible. Whom will they attack
next?"

"The Governor, I suppose," replied Master Joseph satirically.

"Or you?"

"If she does, I'll run my sword through her--not as being a woman, but
as a foul fiend. I told her so. Let her dare to touch me, or any one
under this roof!"

"What did she say when you threatened her?"

"She put on an injured expression; and said she could never believe
anything wrong of her dear husband's family, if all the 'spectres' in
the world told her so."

"Well, I hope you are safe, but as for me--"

"Oh, you are, too. You are within my gates. To touch you, is to touch
me. She fully realizes that. Besides brother Thomas is her abject tool
in most things; but some things even he would not allow."

Yes, Captain John Alden, son of that John Alden who was told by the
pretty Puritan maiden, "Speak for yourself John," when he went pleading
the love-suit of his friend Captain Miles Standish; John Alden, captain
of the only vessel of war belonging to the colony, a man of large
property, and occupying a place in the very front rank of Boston
society, had been arrested for witchcraft! What a state of insanity the
religious delusion had reached, can be seen by this high-handed
proceeding.

Here again we come on to ground in which the details given in the old
manuscript book, are fully confirmed, in every essential particular by
existing public records. Mr. Upham, whose admirable account of "Salem
Witchcraft" has been of great aid to me in the preparation of this
volume, is evidently puzzled to account for Captain Alden's arrest. He
is not able to see how the gallant Captain could have excited the ire of
the "afflicted circle." He seems to have been entirely ignorant of this
case of Dulcibel Burton--hers doubtless being one of the many cases in
which the official records were purposely destroyed. If he had known of
this case, he would have seen the connection between it and Captain
Alden. It also might have explained the continual allusions to the
"yellow bird" in so many of the trials--based possibly on Dulcibel's
canary, which had been given to her by the Captain, and whose habit of
kissing her lips with its little bill had appeared so mysterious and
diabolical to the superstitious inhabitants of Salem village.

Master Raymond's health, as is not to be wondered at, had improved
sufficiently by the next day, to allow of his accompanying Joseph Putnam
to the village, to attend Captain Alden's examination. The meeting-house
was even more crowded than usual, such was the absorbing interest taken
in the case, owing to the Captain's high standing in the province.

The veteran Captain's own brief account of this matter, which has come
down to us, does not go into many details, and is valuable mainly as
showing that he regarded it very much in the same light that it is
regarded now--owing probably to the fact that while a church member in
good standing, he doubtless was a good deal better seaman than church
member. For he says he was "sent for by the Magistrates of Salem, upon
the accusation of a company of poor distracted or possessed creatures or
witches." And he speaks further of them as "wenches who played their
juggling tricks, falling down, crying out, and staring in people's
faces."

The worthy Captain's account is however, as I have said, very brief--and
has the tone of one who had been a participant, however unwillingly, in
a grossly shameful affair, alike disgraceful to the colony and to
everybody concerned in it. For some additional details, I am indebted to
the manuscript volume.

Captain Alden had not been arrested in Boston. He says himself in his
statement, that "he was sent to Salem by Mr. Stoughton"--the Deputy
Governor, and Chief-Justice of the Special Court that had condemned and
executed Bridget Bishop, and which was now about to meet again.

Before the meeting of the magistrates, Master Raymond had managed to
have a few words with him in private, and found that no arrangements
with any skipper had yet been made. The first negotiations had fallen
through, and there was no other foreign vessel at that time in port
whose master possessed what Captain Alden considered the requisite
trustworthiness and daring. For he wanted a skipper that would show
fight if he was pursued and overtaken; not that any actual fighting
would probably be necessary, for a simple show of resistance would
doubtless be all that was needed.

"When I get back to Boston, I think I shall be able to arrange matters
in the course of a week or two."

"What--in Boston jail?" queried Master Raymond.

"You do not suppose the magistrates will commit me on such a trumped-up
nonsensical charge as this?" said the stout old captain indignantly.

"Indeed I do," was the reply.

"Why, there is not a particle of truth in it. I never saw these girls. I
never even heard of their being in existence."

"Oh, that makes no difference."

"The devil it doesn't!" said the old man, hotly. My readers must
remember that he was a seaman.

Here the sheriff came up and told the Captain he was wanted.



CHAPTER XXV.

Captain Alden before the Magistrates.


There was an additional magistrate sitting on this occasion, Master
Bartholomew Gedney--making three in all.

Mistress Ann Putnam, the she-wolf, as her young brother-in-law had
called her, was not present among the accusers--leaving the part of the
"afflicted" to be played by the other and younger members of the circle.

There was another Captain present, also a stranger, a Captain Hill; and
he being also a tall man, perplexed some of the girls at first. One even
pointed at him, until she was better informed in a whisper by a man who
was holding her up. And then she cried out that it was "Alden! Alden!"
who was afflicting her.

At length one of the magistrates ordering Captain Alden to stand upon a
chair, there was no further trouble upon that point; and the usual
demonstrations began. As the accused naturally looked upon the
"afflicted" girls, they went off into spasms, shrieks and convulsions.
This was nearly always the first proceeding, as it created a profound
sympathy for them, and was almost sufficient of itself to condemn the
accused.

"The tall man is pinching me!"

"Oh, he is choking me!"

"He is choking me! do hold his hands!"

"He stabs me with his sword--oh, take it away from him!"

Such were the exclamations that came from the writhing and convulsed
girls.

"Turn away his head! and hold his hands!" cried Squire Hathorne. "Take
away his sword!" said Squire Gedney while the old Captain grew red and
wrathful at the babel around him, and at the indignities to which he was
subject.

"Captain Alden, why do you torment these poor girls who never injured
you?"

"Torment them!--you see I am not touching them. I do not even know them;
I never saw them before in my life," growled the indignant old seaman.

"See! there is the little yellow bird kissing his lips!" cried Abigail
Williams. "Now it is whispering into his ear. It is bringing him a
message from the other witch Dulcibel Burton. See! see! there it goes
back again to her--through the window!"

So well was this done, that probably half of the people present would
have been willing to swear the next day, that they actually saw the
yellow bird as she described it.

"Ask him if he did not give her the yellow bird," said Leah Herrick.
"But probably he will lie about it."

"Did you not give the witch, Dulcibel Burton, a yellow bird, which is
one of her familiars?" said Squire Hathorne sternly.

"I gave her a canary bird that I brought from the West Indies, if that
is what you mean," replied the Captain. "But what harm was there in
that?"

"I knew it! The yellow bird told me so, when it came to peck out my
eyes," cried Mercy Lewis. "Oh! there it is again!" and she struck wildly
into the air before her face. "Drive it away! Do drive it away, some
one!"

Here a young man pulled out his rapier, and began thrusting at the
invisible bird in a furious manner.

"Now it comes to me!" cried Sarah Churchill. And then the other girls
also cried out, and began striking into the air before their faces, till
there was anew a perfect babel of cries, shrieks and sympathizing
voices.

Master Raymond, amid all his indignation at such barefaced and wicked
and yet successful imposture, could hardly avoid smiling at the
expression of the old seaman's face as he stood on the chair, and
fronted all this tempest of absurd and villainous accusation. At first
there had been a deep crimson glow of the hottest wrath upon the old
man's cheeks and brow; but now he seemed to have been shocked into a
kind of stupor, so unexpected and weighty were the charges against him,
and made with such vindictive fierceness; and yet so utterly absurd,
while at the same time, so impossible of being refuted.

"He bought the yellow bird from Tituba's mother--her spectre told me
so!" cried Abigail Williams.

"What do you say to that, Master Alden?" said Squire Gedney. "That is a
serious charge."

"I never saw any Tituba or her mother," exclaimed the Captain, again
growing indignant.

"Who then did you buy the witch's familiar of?" asked Squire Hathorne.

"I do not know--some old negro wench!"

Here the magistrates looked at each other sagely, and nodded their
wooden heads. It was a fatal admission. "You had better confess all,
and give glory to God!" said Squire Gedney solemnly.

"I trust I shall always be ready to give glory to God," answered the old
man stoutly; "but I do not see that it would glorify Him to confess to a
pack of lies. You have known me for many years, Master Gedney, but did
you ever know me to speak an untruth, or seek to injure any innocent
persons, much less women and children?"

Squire Gedney said that he had known the accused many years, and had
even been at sea with him, and had always supposed him to be an honest
man; but now he saw good cause to alter that judgment.

"Turn and look now again upon those afflicted persons," concluded Squire
Gedney.

As the accused turned and again looked upon them, all of the "afflicted"
fell down on the floor as if he had struck them a heavy blow--moaning
and crying out against him.

"I judge you by your works; and believe you now to be a wicked man and a
witch," said Squire Gedney in a very severe tone.

Captain Alden turned then and looked directly at the magistrate for
several moments. "Why does not my look knock you down too?" he said
indignantly. "If it hurts them so much, would it not hurt you a little?"

"He wills it not to hurt you," cried Leah Herrick. "He is looking at
you, but his spectre has its back towards you."

There was quite a roar of applause through the crowded house at such an
exposure of the old Captain's trickery. He was very cunning to be sure;
but the "afflicted" girls could see through his knavery.

"Make him touch the poor girls," said the Reverend Master Noyes. For it
was the accepted theory that by doing this, the witch, in spite of
himself, reabsorbed into his own body the devilish energy that had gone
out of him, and the afflicted were healed. This was repeatedly done
through the progress of these examinations and the after trials; and was
always found to be successful, both as a cure of the sufferers, and an
undeniable proof that the person accused was really a witch.

In this case the "afflicted" girls were brought up to Captain Alden, one
after the other and upon his being made to touch them with his hand,
they invariably drew a deep breath of relief, and said they felt
entirely well again.

"You see Captain Alden," said Squire Gedney solemnly, "none of the
tests fail in your case. If there were only one proof, we might doubt;
but as the Scripture says, by the mouths of two or three witnesses shall
the truth be established. If you were innocent a just God would not
allow you to be overcome in this manner."

"I know that there is a just God, and I know that I am entirely
innocent" replied the noble old seaman in a firm voice. "But it is not
for an uninspired man like me, to attempt to reconcile the mysteries of
His providence. Far better men than I am, even prophets and apostles,
have been brought before magistrates and judges, and their good names
lied away, and they condemned to the prison and the scaffold and the
cross. Why then, should I expect to fare better than they did? All I can
do, like Job of old, is to maintain my integrity--even though Satan and
all his imps be let loose for a time against me."

Here the Reverend Master Noyes rose excitedly, and said that the
decisions of heathen courts and judges were one thing; and the decisions
of godly magistrates, who were all members of the church of the true
God, and therefore inspired by his spirit, was a very different thing.
He said it was simply but another proof of the guilt of the accused,
that he should compare himself with the apostles and the martyrs; and
these worshipful Christian magistrates with heathen magistrates and
judges. Hearing him talk in this ribald way, he could no longer doubt
the accusation brought against him; for there was no surer proof of a
man or woman having dealings with Satan, than to defame and calumniate
God's chosen people.

As Mr. Noyes took his seat, the magistrates said they had heard
sufficient, and ordered the committal of the accused to Boston prison to
await trial.

"I will give bail for Captain Alden's appearance, to the whole amount of
my estate," said Joseph Putnam coming forward. "A man of his age, who
has served the colony in so many important positions, should be treated
with some leniency."

"We are very sorry for the Captain," answered Squire Gedney, "but as
this is a capital offence, no bail can be taken."

"Thank you, Master Putnam, but I want no bail," said the old seaman
proudly. "If the colony of Massachusetts Bay, which my father helped to
build up, and for which I have labored so long and faithfully, chooses
to requite my services in this ungrateful fashion, let it be so. The
shame is on Massachusetts not on me!"



CHAPTER XXVI.

Considering New Plans.


"Well, what now?" said Master Joseph Putnam to his guest, as they rode
homeward. "You might give up the sea-route and try a push through the
wilderness to the Hudson River."

"Rather dangerous that."

"Yes, unless you could secure the services of some heathen savages to
pilot you through."

"Could we trust them?"

"Twenty years ago, according to my father's old stories, we could; but
they are very bitter now--they do not keep much faith with white men.

"Perhaps the white men have not kept much faith with them."

"Of course not. You know they are the heathen; and we have a Bible
communion to exterminate them, and drive them out of our promised land."

"Do you believe that?"

"Well, not exactly," and Master Joseph laughed. "Besides, I think the
Quaker plan both cheaper in the end and a great deal safer. Not that I
believe they have any more right to the land than we have."

"Penn and the Quakers think differently."

"I know they do--but they are a set of crazy enthusiasts."

"What is your view? That of your ministers? The earth is the Lord's. He
has given it to His saints. We are the saints."

Master Joseph laughed again. "Well, something like that. The earth is
the Lord's. He has intended it for the use of His children. We are His
children quite as much as the savages. Therefore we have as much right
to it as they have."

"Only they happen to be in possession," replied Master Raymond, drily.

"Are they in possession? So far as they are actually in possession, I
admit their right. But do you seriously mean that a few hundred or
thousand of wild heathen, have a right to prior occupancy to the whole
North American continent? It seems to me absurd?"

"A relative of mine has ten square miles in Scotland that he never
occupies, in your sense of the word any more than your red-men do; and
yet he is held to have a valid right to it, against the hundreds of
peasants who would like to enter in and take possession."

"Oh, plenty of things are done wrong in the old world," replied Master
Putnam; "that is why we Puritans are over here. But still the fact
remains that the earth is the Lord's and that He intended it for His
children's use; and no merely legal or personal right can be above that.
If ever the time comes that your relative's land is really needed by the
people at large, why then some way will have to be contrived to get hold
of it for them."

"The Putnam family have a good many broad acres too," said Master
Raymond, with a smile, looking around him.

"Oh, you cannot scare me," replied his friend, also smiling. "What is
sauce for the Campbell goose is sauce for the Putnam gander. If the time
ever comes when the public good requires that the broad lands of the
Putnams--if there be any Putnams at that time--have to be appropriated
to meet the wants of their fellow men, then the broad Putnam lands will
have to go like the rest, I imagine. We have taken them from the
Indians, just as the Normans took them from the Saxons--and as the
Saxons took them from the Danes and the ancient inhabitants--by the
strong hand. But the sword can give no right--save as the claim of the
public good is behind it. Show me that the public good requires it, and
I am willing that the title-deeds for my own share of the broad Putnam
lands shall be burnt up tomorrow."

"I believe you, my dear friend," said Master Raymond, gazing with
admiration upon the manly, glowing face of this nature's nobleman. "And
I am inclined to think that your whole view of the matter is correct.
But, coming back to our first point, do you know of any savage that we
could trust to guide us safely to the settlements on the Hudson?"

"If old king Philip, whose head has been savagely exposed to all
weathers on the gibbet at Plymouth for the last sixteen years, were
alive, something perhaps might be done. His safeguard would have carried
you through."

"Is there not another chief, called Nucas?"

"Oh, old Nucas, of the Mohegans. He was a character! But he died ten
years ago. Lassacus, too, was killed. There are a couple of Pequod
settlements down near New Haven I believe; but they are too far off."

"And then you could not tell me where to put my hand on some dozen or so
of the Indians, whom I might engage as a convoy."

"Not now. A roving party may pass in the woods at any time. But they
would not be very reliable. If they could make more by selling your
scalps than by keeping them safely on your heads, they would be pretty
sure to sell them."

"Then I see nothing to do, but to go again to Boston, and arrange
another scheme on the old plan."

"You ought not to travel long in Dulcibel's company without being
married," said Master Putnam bluntly.

"Very true--but we can not well be married without giving our names to
the minister; and to do that, would be to deliver ourselves up to the
authorities."

"Mistress Putnam and myself might accompany you to New York--we should
not mind a little trip."

"And thus make yourselves parties to Dulcibel's escape? No, no, my good
friend--that would be to put you both in prison in her place."

"It is not likely there would be any other woman on board the
vessel--that is of any reputation. You must try to get some one to go
with you."

"And incur the certainty of punishment when she returns?"

"Perhaps you could find some one who would like to settle permanently in
New York. I should like to go myself if I could, and get out of this
den of wild beasts."

"Yes, I may be able to do that--though I shall not dare to try that
until the last day almost--for the women always have some man to
consult, and thus our secret plan would get blown about, to our great
peril."

"I have a scheme!" cried Master Joseph in exultation. "It is the very
thing," and he burst out laughing. "Kidnap Cotton Mather, or one of the
other Boston ministers, and take him with you."

"That would be a bold stroke," replied Master Raymond, also laughing
heartily. "But, like belling the cat, it is easier said than done.
Ministers are apt to be cautious and wary. They are timid folk."

"Not when a wedding is to be solemnized, and a purse of gold-pieces is
shaken before them," returned Master Putnam. "Have everything ready to
sail. Then decoy the minister on board, to marry a wealthy foreign
gentleman, a friend of the skipper's--and do not let him go again. Pay
him enough and the skipper will think it a first rate joke."

"But he might be so angry that he would refuse to marry us after all our
trouble."

"Oh, do not you believe that--if you make the fee large enough. Treat
him kindly, represent to him the absolute necessity of the case, say
that you never would have thought of such a thing if it could in any way
have been avoided, and I'll warrant he will do the job before you reach
New York."

"I wish I felt as certain as you do."

"Well, suppose he will not be mollified. What then? Your end is
attained. He has acted as chaperon, and involuntary master of propriety
whether he would or not. A minister is just as good as a matron to
chaperon the maiden. Of course he will have his action for damages
against you, and you will be willing to pay him fairly, but if he brings
you before a jury of New Yorkers, and you simply relate the facts, and
the necessity of the case, little will he get of damages beyond a
plentiful supply of jokes and laughter. You know there is very little
love lost between the people of the two colonies; and that the Manhattan
people have no more respect for all the witchcraft business, than you
and I have."

Master Raymond made no reply. He did not want to kidnap a minister, if
it could be in any way avoided. With Master Putnam, however, that
seemed to be one of the most desirable features of the proposed plan,
only he was tenfold more sorry now than ever, that such weighty
prudential reasons prevented his taking any active share in the
enterprise. To kidnap a minister--especially if it could be the Reverend
Cotton Mather--seemed to him something which was worth almost the
risking of his liberty and property in which to take a hand.



CHAPTER XXVII.

The Dissimulation of Master Raymond.


About this time the gossips of Salem village began to remark upon the
attentions that were being paid by the wealthy young Englishman, Master
Ellis Raymond, to various members of the "afflicted circle." He petted
those bright and terribly precocious children of twelve, Ann Putnam and
Abigail Williams; he almost courted the older girls, Mary Walcot, Mercy
Lewis and Leah Herrick and had a kindly word for Mary Warren, Sarah
Churchill and others, whenever he saw them. As for Mistress Ann Putnam,
the mother, he always had been very respectful to her. While in Boston
he had purchased quite an assortment of those little articles which the
Puritan elders usually denominated "gew-gaws" and "vain adornments" and
it was observed that Abigail Williams especially had been given a number
of these, while the other girls had one or more of them, which they were
very careful in not displaying except at those times when no grave elder
or deacon was present to be shocked by them.

I will acknowledge that there was some dissimulation in this conduct of
Master Raymond's, and Joseph Putnam by no means approved of it.

"How you can go smiling around that den of big and little she-wolves,
patting the head of one, and playing with the paw of another, I cannot
understand, friend Raymond. I would not do it to save my life."

"Nor I," answered Master Raymond gravely. "But I would do it to save
your life, friend Joseph, or that of your sweet young wife there--or
that of the baby which she holds upon her knee."

"Or that of Mistress Dulcibel Burton!" added sweet Mistress Putnam
kindly.

"Yes, or that of Dulcibel Burton."

"You know, my dear friends, the plan I have in view may fail. If that
should fail, I am laying the foundation of another--so that if Dulcibel
should be brought to trial, the witnesses that are relied upon may fail
to testify so wantonly against her. Even little Abigail Williams has the
assurance and ingenuity to save her, if she will."

"Yes, that precocious child is a very imp of Satan," said Joseph Putnam.
"What a terrible woman she will make."

"Oh, no, she may sink down into a very tame and commonplace woman, after
this tremendous excitement is over," rejoined his friend. "I think at
times I see symptoms of it now. The strain is too great for her childish
brain."

"Well, I suppose your dissimulation is allowable if it is to save the
life of your betrothed," said Master Putnam, "but I would not do it if I
could and I could not if I would."

"Do you remember Junius Brutus playing idiot--and King David playing
imbecile?"

"Oh, I know you have plenty of authority for your dissimulation."

"It seems to me," joined in young Mistress Putnam, "that the difference
between you is simply this. Joseph could not conscientiously do it; and
you can."

"Yes, that is about the gist of it," said her young husband. "And now
that I have relieved my conscience by protesting against your course, I
am satisfied you should go on in your own way just the same."

"And yet you feel no conscientious scruples against abducting the
minister," rejoined Raymond laughing; "a thing which I am rather loath
to do."

"I see," replied Joseph, also laughing. "I scruple at taking mustard,
and you at cayenne pepper. It is a matter of mental organization
probably."

"Yes--and if a few or many doses of mustard will prevent my being
arrested as a witch, which would put it entirely out of my power to aid
Dulcibel in her affliction--and perhaps turn some of the "afflicted"
girls over to her side, in case she has to stand a trial for her life--I
shall certainly swallow them with as much grace as if they were so many
spoonfuls of honey. There is a time to be over-scrupulous, friend
Joseph, but not when my beloved one is in the cage of the tigers. Yes, I
shall not hesitate to meet craft with craft."

And Mistress Putnam, sweet, good woman as she was, nodded her head,
woman-like, approvingly, carried away perhaps by the young man's
earnestness, and by the strength of his love.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

The Cruel Doings of the Special Court.


Meanwhile the Special Court of seven Judges--a majority of whom were
from Boston, with the Deputy Governor of the Colony, William Stoughten,
as Chief-Justice--was by no means indolent. Of the proceedings of this
court, which embodied apparently the best legal intellect of the colony,
no official record is in existence. Its shameful pages, smeared all over
with bigotry and blood, no doubt were purposely destroyed. So far as we
are acquainted with the evidence given before it, it was substantially
the same as had been given at the previous examinations before the
committing magistrates.

That nothing was too extravagant and absurd to be received as evidence
by this learned court, is proven by the statement of the Reverend Cotton
Mather, already alluded to, relative to a demon entering the
meeting-house and tearing down a part of it, in obedience to a look from
Mistress Bridget Bishop--of which diabolical outrage the Court was duly
informed. Besides, there could have been no other kind of evidence
forthcoming, that would apply to the crime of which all the accused
were charged, Witchcraft. Many of the prisoners indeed were accused of
murdering children and others, whose illness had been beyond the
physician's power to cure; but the murders were all committed, it was
alleged, by the use of "spectres," "familiars," "puppets," and other
supernatural means. Against such accusations it was impossible for men
and women of the highest character and reputation to make any effectual
defence, before a court and jury given over so completely to religious
fanaticism and superstitious fancies. To be accused was therefore to be
condemned.

Yes, this Special Court, having had all its misgivings, if it ever
really had any, quieted by the answer of the council of ministers, was
doing quick and fearful work.

Meeting again in the latter part of June, it speedily tried, convicted
and sentenced to death five persons:--Sarah Good, Sarah Wildes,
Elizabeth How, Susanna Martin and Rebecca Nurse.

Then, adjourning till August 5th, it tried and convicted George
Burroughs, John Procter, Elizabeth Procter, George Jacobs, John Willard
and Martha Carrier.

Then meeting on September 9th, it tried and condemned Martha Corey, Mary
Easty, Alice Parker and Ann Pudcator; and on September 17th, Margaret
Scott, Wilmot Reed, Samuel Wardwell and Mary Parker.

It will be noticed that of the above nineteen persons, only five were
men. As the greater number of the accusers were also of the female sex,
it was natural, I suppose, that this should be so. And thus we find that
the word witch is applied indifferently in the old records, to men and
women; the masculine term wizard being seldom used.

That the learned Judges were fully as superstitious as the people at
large, is conclusively proved by certain facts that have come down to
us. In the case of that lovely and venerable matron, Rebecca Nurse, the
jury at first brought in the verdict "Not guilty."

But immediately all the accusers in the Court, and all the "afflicted"
out of it, made a hideous outcry. Two of the Judges said they were not
satisfied. The Chief-Justice intimated that there was one admission of
the prisoner that the jury had not properly considered. These things
induced the jurors to go out again, and come back with a verdict of
"Guilty."

One of the charges against Rebecca Nurse, testified to by Edward Putnam,
was that, after the said Rebecca Nurse had been committed to jail, and
was thus several miles distant in the town of Salem, "she, the said
Nurse, struck Mistress Ann Putnam with her spectral chain, leaving a
mark, being a kind of round ring, and three streaks across the ring. She
had six blows with a chain in the space of half-an-hour; and she had one
remarkable one, with six streaks across her arm. Ann Putnam, Jr., also
was bitten by the spectre of the said Rebecca Nurse about two o'clock of
the day. I, Edward Putnam, saw the marks, both of bite and chains."

It was a great hardship in all these trials, that the prisoners were not
allowed any counsel; while on the other hand, the members of the Court
seemed to take it for granted from the first, that they were guilty. The
only favor allowed them was the right of objecting to a certain extent
to those jurors whose fairness they mistrusted.

One of the accused, a reputable and aged farmer named Giles Corey,
refused to plead. His wife, Martha Corey, was among the convicted. At
her examination, some time previous, he had allowed himself to testify
in certain respects against her; involved as he was for a time in the
prevailing delusion. But he was a man of strong mind and character; and
though not entirely able to throw off the chains which superstition had
woven around him, he repented very sorely the part he had taken against
his wife. This was enough to procure his own accusation. The "afflicted
girls" brought their usual complaints that his spectre tormented them.
They fell down and shrieked so wildly at his examination, that Squire
Hathorne asked him with great indignation, "Is it not enough that you
should afflict these girls at other times without doing it now in our
presence?"

The honest and sturdy man was visibly affected. He knew he was not
consciously doing anything; but what could it all mean? If he turned his
head, the girls said he was hurting them and turned their heads the same
way. The Court ordered his hands tied--and then the girls said they were
easier. But he drew in his cheeks, after a habit he had, and the cheeks
of the girls were sucked in also, giving them great pain. The old man
was fairly dumfounded. When however one of the girls testified that
Goodman Corey had told her that he saw the devil in the shape of a black
hog in the cow-house, and was very much frightened by it, the spirited
old man said that he never was frightened by man or devil in his life.

But he had a fair property, and two sons-in-law to whom he wished to
leave it. He knew well that if he were tried he would be convicted, and
that would carry with it the confiscation of his property. So, as other
noble-hearted men had done in that and the previous age, he refused when
brought before the Special Court, to plead either "guilty" or "not
guilty." In these later times the presiding Judge would simply order a
plea of "not guilty" to be entered, and the trial would proceed. But
then it was otherwise--the accused himself must plead, or the trial
could not go on. Therefore he must be made to plead--by placing heavy
weights upon his breast, and adding to them until the accused either
agreed to plead, or died under the torture. In which last case, the
prisoner lost his life as contumacious; but gained his point of
preserving his estate, and title of nobility if he had any, to his
family.

So, manly old Giles Corey, remorseful for the fate he had helped to
bring upon his wife, and determined that his children should inherit the
property he had acquired, maintained a determined silence when brought
before the Special Court. Being warned, again and again, he simply
smiled. He could bear all that they in their cruel mockery of justice
could inflict upon him.

Joseph Putnam and Master Raymond rode down to Salem that day--to the
orchard where the brave old man was led out of jail to meet his doom.
They saw him, tied hand and foot, and heavy flat stones and iron weights
laid one by one upon him.

"More! More!" pleaded the old man at last. "I shall never yield. But, if
ye be men, make the time short!"

"I cannot stand this," said Master Raymond.

"We are powerless to help him--let us go."

"To torture an old man of eighty years in this way! What a sight for
this new world!" exclaimed Master Putnam, as they turned their horses'
heads and rode off.

His executioners took Giles Corey at his word. They knew the old man
would never yield. So they mercifully heaped the heavy weights upon him
until they had crushed out his life.



CHAPTER XXIX.

Dulcibel's Life in Prison.


Dulcibel's life in prison was of course a very monotonous one. She did
not suffer however as did many other women of equally gentle nature. In
the jails of Ipswich, Boston and Cambridge, there were keepers who
conformed in most cases strictly to the law. In many instances delicate
and weakly women, often of advanced years, were chained, hands and feet,
with heavy irons, night and day.

But Robert Foster and his son, who assisted him as under-keeper, while
indulging before the marshal and the constables in the utmost violence
and severity of language, and who were supposed to be strict enforcers
of all the instructions received from the magistrates, were as we have
seen, at heart, very liberal and kind-hearted men. And the only fear the
prisoners had, was that they would throw up their positions some day in
disgust. Uncle Robie often declared to Dulcibel that he would, when she
was once fairly out of the clutches of her enemies.

Every now and then instructions would come to jailer Foster from one of
the magistrates--generally Squire Hathorne--to put heavier irons on some
one of the prisoners, whose spectre was still tormenting the "afflicted
girls." It being generally held that the more heavily you chained a
witch, the less able she was to afflict her victims. And at these times
Master Foster would get out his heaviest irons, parade them before the
eyes of the constables, declare in a fierce tone what he was about to
do, get the constable off on one pretext or another--and do nothing.

It was thought best and wisest for neither Master Joseph Putnam nor
Master Raymond to seek many interviews with Dulcibel; the means of
intercourse between the two lovers being restricted to little notes,
which goodwife Buckley, who frequently visited the maiden, transmitted
from one to the other through the agency of either her husband or of
Joseph Putnam. This kept them both in heart; and Dulcibel being
sustained by the frequent assurances of her lover's devotion, and by the
hope of escape, kept the roses of her cheeks in marvelous bloom during
her close confinement.

One of the constables, who managed to get sight of her one day through
the half-opened door of her cell, expressed surprise to the jailer that
she should still look so blooming, considering the weight of the heavy
chains to which she was continually subjected.

"And why should not the young witch look so?" replied the jailer. "Is
not her spectre riding around on that devil's mare half the night, and
having a good time of it?"

The constable assented to this view of the case; and his suspicions, if
he had any, were quieted. In fact even Squire Hathorne himself probably
would have been perfectly satisfied with an explanation of so undeniable
a character.

Of course it was not considered prudent by Uncle Robie, that the
furniture or general appearance of Dulcibel's cell should be changed in
the least for the better. Not even a bunch of flowers that Goodwife
Buckley once brought to Dulcibel, could be allowed to remain there.
While in a corner of the cell, lay the heavy chains which, if the
marshal or one of the magistrates, should insist upon seeing the
prisoner, could be slipped on her wrists and ankles in a few minutes.
Fortunately, however, for Dulcibel, the interest of all these was now
centered upon the trials that were in progress, the contumacious
obstinacy of Giles Corey, the host of new accusations at Ipswich and
other neighboring places, and the preparations for the execution of
those already condemned to death.

If they had a passing thought of the young witch Dulcibel Burton, it was
that her time would come rapidly around in its turn, when speedy justice
no doubt would be done to her.

As to Antipas, her faithful servitor, he had relapsed again into his old
staidness and sobriety in the comparative quietude of the prison. Only
on the day of Giles Corey's execution had the prevailing excitement
attending that event, and which naturally affected the constables and
jailers, made him raging. To pass the constable's inspection, as well as
for his own safety, the jailer had chained him; but his voice could be
heard ringing through the closed door of his cell at intervals from
morning till evening.

The burden of his thoughts seemed to be a blending of denunciation and
exultation. The predictions of the four Quakers executed many years
before on Boston common, and those of men and women who had been whipped
at the cart's tail through the towns of the colony, evidently seemed to
him in progress of fulfillment:--

"They have torn the righteous to pieces; now the judgment is upon them,
and they are tearing each other! Woe to the bloody towns of Boston and
Salem and Ipswich! Satan is let loose by the Lord upon them! They have
slain the saints, they have supped full of innocent blood; now the blood
of their own sons, their own daughters, is filling the cup of God's
vengeance! They have tortured the innocent women, the innocent
children--and banished them and sold them to the Philistines as slaves.
But the Lord will avenge His own elect! They are given up to believe a
lie! The persecutors are persecuting each other! They are pressing each
other to death beneath heavy stones! They are hanging each other on the
gallows of Haman! Where they hung the innocent, they are hanging
themselves! Oh, God! avenge now the blood of thy Saints! As they have
done, let it be done unto them! Whip and kill! Whip and kill! Ha! ha!
ha!"--and with a blood-curdling laugh that rang through the narrow
passages of the prison, the insane old man would fall down for a time on
his bed exhausted.

That was an awful day, both outside and inside the prison--for all the
prisoners knew what a savage death old Giles Corey was meeting. It
seemed to Dulcibel afterwards, that if she had not been sustained by the
power of love, and a hopeful looking forward to other scenes, she must
have herself gone crazy during that and the other evil days that were
upon them. To some of the prisoners, the most fragile and sensitive
ones, even the hour of their execution seemed to come as a relief.
Anything, to get outside of those close dark cells--and to make an end
of it!



CHAPTER XXX.

Eight Legal Murders on Witch Hill.


A mile or so outside of the town of Salem, the ground rises into a rocky
ledge, from the top of which, to the south and the east and the west, a
vast expanse of land and sea is visible. You overlook the town; the two
rivers, or branches of the sea, between which the town lies; the thickly
wooded country, as it was then, to the south and west; and the wide,
open sea to the eastward.

Such a magnificent prospect of widespread land and water is seldom seen
away from the mountain regions; and, as one stands on the naked brow of
the hill, on a clear summer day, as the sunset begins to dye the west,
and gazes on the scene before and around him, he feels that the heavens
are not so very far distant, and as if he could almost touch with these
mortal hands the radiance and the glory.

The natural sublimity of this spot seems to have struck the Puritan
fathers of Salem, and looking around on its capabilities, they appear to
have come to the conclusion that of all places it was the one expressly
designed by the loving Father of mankind for--a gallows!

"Yes, the very spot for a gallows!" said the first settlers. "The very
spot!" echoed their descendants. "See, the wild "Heathen Salvages" can
behold it from far and near; the free spoken, law-abiding sailors can
descry it, far out at sea; and both know by this sign that they are
approaching a land of Christian civilization and of godly law!"

I think if I were puzzled for an emblem to denote the harsher and more
uncharitable side of the Puritan character, I should pick out this
gallows on Witch Hill near Salem, as being a most befitting one.

This was the spot where, as we have already related, approaching it from
the north, Master Raymond had his interview with jailer Foster. But that
was night, and it was so dark that Master Raymond had no idea of its
commanding so fine a view of both land and water. He had been in Boston
during the execution of poor Bridget Bishop; and though he had often
seen the gallows from below, and wondered at the grim taste which had
reared it in such a conspicuous spot, he had never felt the least
desire, but rather a natural aversion, to approach the place where such
an unrighteous deed had been enacted.

But now the carpenters had been again at work and supplanted the old
scaffolding by another and larger one. Now the uprights had been added
too--and on the beam which they supported there was room for at least
ten persons. This seemed to be enough space to Marshall Herrick and
Squire Hathorne; though at the rate the arrests and convictions were
going on, it might be that one-half of the people in the two Salems and
in Ipswich, would be hung in the course of a year or so by the other
half.

But for this special hanging, only eight ropes and nooses were prepared.
The workmen had been employed the preceding afternoon; and now in the
fresh morning light, everything was ready; and eight of those who had
been condemned were to be executed.

The town, and village, and country around turned out, as was natural, in
a mass, to see the terrible sight. And yet the crowd was comparatively a
small one, the colony then being so thinly settled. But this, to Master
Raymond's eyes, gave a new horror to the scene. If there had been a
crowd like that when London brought together its thousands at Tyburn, it
would have seemed less appalling. But here were a few people--not
alienated from each other by ancestral differences in creed or politics,
and who had never seen each other's faces before--but members of the
same little band which had fled together from their old home, holding
the same political views, the same religious faith; who had sat on the
same benches at church, eaten at the same table of the Lord's supper,
near neighbors on their farms, or in the town and village streets; now
hunting each other down like wolves, and hanging each other up in cold
blood! This it was that set apart the Salem persecution from all other
persecutions of those old days against witches and heretics; and which
has given it a painful pre-eminence in horror. It was neighbor hanging
neighbor; and brother and sister persecuting to death with the foulest
lies and juggling tricks their spiritual brothers and sisters. And the
plea of "delusion" will not excuse it, except to those who have not
investigated its studied cruelty and malice. Sheer, unadulterated
wickedness had its full share in the persecution; and that wickedness
can only be partly extenuated by the plea of possible insanity or of
demoniacal possession.

[Illustration: Marched from jail for the last time]

The route to the gallows hill was a rough and difficult one; but the
condemned were marched from the jail for the last time, one by one, and
compelled to walk attended by a small guard and a rude and jeering
company. There was Rebecca Nurse, infirm but venerable and lovely, the
beloved mother of a large family; there was the Reverend George
Burroughs, a small dark man, whose great physical strength was enough,
as the Reverend Increase Mather, then President of Harvard College,
said, to prove he was a witch; but who did not believe in infant
baptism, and probably was not up to the orthodox standard of the day in
other respects, though in conduct a very correct and exemplary man;
there was old John Procter, with his two staffs, and long thin white
hair; there was John Willard, a good, innocent young man, lied to death
by Susanna Sheldon, aged eighteen; there was unhappy Martha Carrier four
of whose children, one a girl of eight, had been frightened into
testifying before the Special Court against her; saying that their
mother had taken them to a witch meeting, and that the Devil had
promised her that she should be queen of hell; there was gentle, patient
and saintlike Elizabeth How, with "Father, forgive them!" on her mild
lips; and two others of whom we now know little, save that they were
most falsely and wickedly accused.

There also were the circle of the "afflicted," gazing with hard dry eyes
on the murder they had done and with jeers and scoffs on their thin and
cruel lips.

There, too, were the reverend ministers, Master Parris of Salem village,
and Master Noyes of Salem town, and Master Cotton Mather, who had come
down from Boston in his black clothes, like a buzzard that scents death
and blood a long way off, to lend his spiritual countenance to the
terrible occasion.

Master Noyes, however, the most of the time, seemed rather quiet and
subdued. He was thinking perhaps of Sarah Good's fierce prediction, when
he urged her, as she came up to the gallows to confess, saying to her
that, "she was a witch, and she knew it!" Outraged beyond all endurance
at this last insult at such a moment, Sarah Good cried out: "It is a
lie! I am no more a witch than you are. God will yet give you blood to
drink for this day's cruel work!" Which prediction it is said in Salem,
came true--Master Noyes dying of an internal hemorrhage bleeding
profusely at the mouth.

It was not a scene that men of sound and kindly hearts would wish to
witness; and yet Joseph Putnam and Ellis Raymond felt drawn to it by an
irresistible sense of duty. Hard, indeed, it was for Master Raymond; for
the necessity of the case compelled him to suppress all show of sympathy
with the sufferer, in order that he might more effectually carry out his
plans for Dulcibel's escape from the similar penalty that menaced her.
And he, therefore, could not even ride around like Master Putnam, with a
frowning face, uttering occasional emphatic expressions of his
indignation and horror, that the crowd would probably not have endured
from any one else.

There were some incidents that were especially noticeable. Samuel
Wardwell had "confessed" in his fear, but subsequently taken back his
false confession, and met his death. While he was speaking at the foot
of the gallows declaring his innocence, the tobacco smoke from the pipe
of the executioner, blew into his face and interrupted him.

Then one of the accusing girls laughed out, and said that "the Devil did
hinder him," but Joseph Putnam cried, "If the Devil does hinder him,
then it is good proof that he is not one of his." At which some few of
the crowd applauded; while others said that Master Putnam himself was no
better than he ought to be.

The Reverend Master Burroughs, when upon the ladder, addressing the
crowd, asserted earnestly his entire innocence. Such was the effect of
his words that Master Raymond even hoped that an effort would be made to
rescue him. But one of the "afflicted girls" cried out, "See! there
stands the black man in the air at his side."

Then another said, "The black man is telling him what to say."

But Master Burroughs answered: "Then I will repeat the Lord's prayer.
Would the Devil tell me to say that?"

But when he had ended, Master Cotton Mather, who was riding around on
his horse, said to the people that "the Devil often transformed himself
into an angel of light; and that Master Burroughs was not a rightly
ordained minister;" and the executioner at a sign from the official, cut
the matter short by turning off the condemned man.

Rebecca Nurse and the other women, with the exception of their last
short prayers, said nothing--submitting quietly and composedly to their
legal murder. And before the close of one short hour eight lifeless
bodies hung dangling beneath the summer sun.

Joseph Putnam and Master Raymond, and a few others upon whom the solemn
words of the condemned had made an evident impression, turned away from
the sad sight, and wiped their tearful eyes. But Master Parris and
Master Noyes, and Master Cotton Mather seemed rather exultant than
otherwise; though Master Noyes did say; "What a sad thing it is to see
eight firebrands of hell hanging there!" But, as Master Cotton Mather
more consistently answered: "Why should godly ministers be sad to see
the firebrands of hell in the burning."

Then, as the hours went on, the bodies were cut down, and stuck into
short and shallow graves, dug out with difficulty between the rocks--in
some instances, the ground not covering them entirely. There some
remained without further attention; but, in the case of others, whose
relatives were still true to them, there came loving hands by night, and
bore the remains away to find a secret sepulcher, where none could
molest them.

But the gallows remained on the Hill, where it could be seen from a
great distance; causing a thrill of wonder in the bosom of the wandering
savage, as of the wandering sailor, gazing at its skeleton outline
against the sunset sky from far out at sea--waiting for ten more
victims!



CHAPTER XXXI.

A New Plan of Escape.


About this time a new plan of escape was suggested to Master Raymond;
coming to him in a note from Dulcibel.

Master Philip English, one of the wealthiest inhabitants of Salem town,
and his wife Mary, had been arrested--the latter a short time previous
to her husband. He was a merchant managing a large business, owning
fourteen houses in the town, a wharf, and twenty-one vessels. He had one
of the best dwellings in Salem--situated at its eastern end, and having
a fine outlook over the adjacent seas. He had probably offended some one
in his business transactions; or, supposing that he was safely
entrenched in his wealth and high social position, he might have
expressed some decided opinions, relative to Mistress Ann Putnam and the
"afflicted children."

As for his wife, she was a lady of exalted character who had been an
only child and had inherited a large property from her father. The
deputy-marshall, Manning, came to arrest her in the night time, during
her husband's absence. She had retired to her bed; but he was admitted
to her chamber, where he read the warrant for her apprehension. He
allowed her till morning, however, placing guards around the house that
she might not escape. Knowing that such an accusation generally meant
conviction and death, "she arose calmly in the morning, attended the
family prayers, spoke to a near relative of the best plan for the
education of her children, kissed them with great composure, amid their
agony of cries and tears, and then told the officer that she was ready
to die."

On her examination the usual scene ensued, and the usual falsehoods were
told. Perhaps the "afflicted girls" were a little more bitter than they
would have been, had she not laughed outright at a portion of their
testimony. She was a very nice person in her habits, and it was
testified against her, that being out one day in the streets of Salem
walking around on visits to her friends during a whole morning,
notwithstanding the streets were exceedingly sloppy and muddy, it could
not be perceived that her shoes and white stockings were soiled in the
least. As we have said, at this singular proof of her being a witch, the
intelligent lady had laughed outright. And this of course brought out
the additional statement, that she had been carried along on the back of
an invisible "familiar"--a spectral blue boar--the whole way. Of
course this was sufficient, and she was committed for trial.

And now wealthy Master Philip English and his wife were both in prison;
and he daily concocting plans by which he might find himself on the deck
of the fastest sailer of all those twenty-one vessels of his.

Uncle Robie had thought this might be also a good opportunity for
Dulcibel. And it struck Master Raymond the same way; while Master
English had no objection, especially as it was mainly for Dulcibel that
the jailer would open the prison doors. And this was better than the
violence he had at first contemplated; for, as his vessels gradually
began to accumulate in port, owing to the interruption to his business
caused by his arrest, he had only to give the word, and a party of his
sailors would have broken open the prison some dark night, and released
him from captivity.

The "Albatross," Master English's fastest sailer at length came into
port; and the arrangements were speedily made. The first north-westerly
wind, whether the night were clear or stormy--though of course with such
a wind it would probably be clear--the attempt was to be made,
immediately after midnight. Uncle Robie was to unlock the jail-doors,
let them out, lock the doors again behind them, and have a plentiful
supply of witch stories to account for the escape. And Master Raymond
had some hopes also, that Abigail Williams would come to the jailer's
support in anything that seemed to compromise him in the least; for he
had promised to send her a beautiful gift from England, when he returned
home again. And with such a sharpener to the vision, the precocious
child would be able to see even more wonderful things than any she had
already testified to.

The favorable wind came at length, and with it an exceedingly propitious
night; there being a moon just large enough to enable them to see their
way, with not enough light to disclose anything sharply. Master Raymond
had planned all along to take Dulcibel's horse also with them; and if he
could ride the animal, it would obviate the necessity of taking another
horse also, and being plagued what to do with it when they arrived at
the prison. For he was very desirous that Master Putnam should not be
in the least involved in the matter.

Master Raymond therefore had been practising up in the woods for about a
week, at what the minister had failed so deplorably in, the riding of
the little black mare. At first he could absolutely do nothing with her;
she would not be ridden by any male biped. But finally he adopted a
suggestion of quick-witted Mistress Putnam. He put on a side saddle and
a skirt, and rode the animal woman fashion--and all without the least
difficulty. The little mare seeming to say by her behavior, "Ah, now,
that is sensible. Why did you not do it before?"

So, late on the evening appointed for the attempted escape, after taking
an affectionate leave of his host and hostess, and putting a few
necessary articles of apparel into a portmanteau strapped behind the
saddle, Master Raymond started for Salem town.

Leaving the village to the right, he made good time to the town, meeting
no one at that late hour. He had covered the mare with a large
horse-blanket, so that she should not easily be recognized by any one
who might happen to meet them. There was a night watchman in Salem town;
but a party of sailors had undertaken to get him off the principal
street at the appointed hour, by the offer of refreshments at one of
their haunts; and by this time he was too full of Jamaica spirits to
walk very steadily or see very clearly.

Arrived at the prison, Master Raymond found the Captain and mate of the
"Albatross" impatiently awaiting him. It was not full time yet, but they
concluded to give the signal, three hoots of an owl; which the mate gave
with great force and precision. Still all seemed dark and quiet as
before.

Then they waited, walking up and down to keep the blood in their veins
in motion, as the nights were a little cool.

"It is full time now," said the Captain, "give the signal again, Brady."

Brady gave it--if anything with greater force and precision than before.

But not a sign from within.

Had the jailer's courage given away at the last moment? Or could he have
betrayed them? They paced up and down for an hour longer. It was evident
that, for some reason or other, the plan had miscarried.

"Well, there is no use awaiting here," exclaimed the Captain of the
"Albatross" with an oath; "I am going back to the ship."

Master Raymond acquiesced. There was no use in waiting longer. And so he
re-donned his petticoat--much to the amusement of the seamen and started
back to Master Putnam's arriving there in the darkest hours of the
night, just before the breaking of the day.



CHAPTER XXXII.

Why the Plan Failed.


The reason of the failure of the plan of escape may be gathered from a
little conversation that took place between Squire Hathorne and Thomas
Putnam the morning of the day fixed upon by Master Philip English.

Thomas Putnam had called to see the magistrate at the suggestion of that
not very admirable but certainly very sharp-witted wife of his. I do not
suppose that Thomas Putnam was at all a bad man, but it is a lamentable
sight to see, as we so often do, a good kind honest-hearted man made a
mere tool of by some keen-witted and unscrupulous woman; in whose
goodness he believes, in a kind of small-minded and yet not altogether
ignoble spirit of devotion, mainly because she is a woman. Being a
woman, she cannot be, as he foolishly supposes, the shallow-hearted,
mischievous being that she really is.

"Do you know, Squire, how Master English's sailors are talking around
the wharves?"

"No! What are the rascals saying?"

"Well, Mistress Putnam has been told by a friend of hers in the town,
that he heard a half-drunken sailor, belonging to one of Master
English's vessels, say that they meant to tear down the jail some night,
hang the jailers, and carry off their Master and Mistress."

"Ah," said the Squire, "this must be looked into."

"Another of the sailors is reported to have said, that if the
magistrates attempted to hang Mistress English they would hang Squire
Hathorne, and Squire Gedney, if they could catch him, by the side of
her."

"The impudent varlets!" exclaimed Squire Hathorne, his wine-red face
growing redder. "Master English shall sweat for this. How many of his
sailors are in port now?"

"Oh, I suppose there are fifty of them; and all reckless, unprincipled
men. To my certain knowledge, there is not a member of church among
them."

"The godless knaves!" cried the magistrate. "I should like to set the
whole lot of them in the stocks, and then whip them out of the town at
the cart's tail."

"Yes, that is what they deserve, but then we cannot forget that they are
necessary to the interests of the town--unless Salem is to give up all
her shipping business--and these sailors are so clannish that if you
strike one of them, you strike all. No, it seems to me, Squire, we had
better take no public notice of their vaporing; but simply adopt means
to counteract any plans they may be laying."

"Well, what would you suggest, Master Putnam? Has Mistress Putnam any
ideas upon the subject? I have always found her a very sensible woman."

"Yes, my wife is a very remarkable woman if I do say it," replied Master
Putnam. "Her plan is to send Master English and his wife off at once to
Boston--that will save us all further trouble with them and their
sailors."

"A capital idea! It shall be carried out this very day," said the
magistrate.

"And she also suggests that the young witch woman, Dulcibel Burton,
should be sent with them. That friend of my brother Joseph, is still
staying around here; and Mistress Putnam does not exactly comprehend his
motives for so long a visit."

"Ah, indeed--what motive has he?" And Squire Hathorne rubbed his broad
forehead.

"There was some talk at one time of his keeping company with Mistress
Burton."

"What, the witch! that is too bad. For he seems like a rather pleasant
young gentleman; and I hear he is the heir of a large estate in the old
country."

"Of course there may be nothing in it--but Mistress Putnam also heard
from one of her female cronies the other day, that jailer Foster was at
one time a mate on board Captain Burton's vessel."

"Ah!"

"And you know how very handsome that Mistress Dulcibel is; and, being
besides a witch of great power, it seems to Mistress Putnam that it is
exposing jailer Foster to very great temptation."

"Mistress Putnam is quite correct," said Squire Hathorne. "Mistress
Dulcibel had better be transferred to Boston also. There the worshipful
Master Haughton has the power and the will to see that all these imps of
Satan are kept safely."

"As the seamen may be lying around and make a disturbance if the removal
comes to their knowledge, Mistress Putnam suggested that it had better
not be done until evening. It would be a night ride; but then, as
Mistress Putnam said, witches rather preferred to make their journeys in
the night time--so that it would be a positive kindness to the
prisoners."

"Very true! very well thought of!" replied Squire Hathorne, with a grim
smile. "And no doubt they will be very thankful that we furnish them
with horses instead of broomsticks. Though as for Mistress Dulcibel, I
suppose she would prefer her familiar, the black mare, to any other
animal."

"That was very marvelous. Abigail Williams says that she is certain that
the mare, after jumping the gate, never came down to earth again, but
flew straight on up into the thundercloud."

"And it thundered when the black beast entered the cloud, did it not?"
said the magistrate in a sobered tone. He evidently saw nothing
unreasonable in the story.

"Yes--it thundered--but not the common kind of thunder--it was enough to
make your flesh creep. The minister says he is only too thankful that
the Satanic beast did throw him off. He might have been carried off to
hell with her."

"Yes, it was a very foolish thing to get on the back of a witch's
familiar," said the magistrate. "It was tempting Providence. And Master
Parris has cause for thankfulness that only such a mild reproof as a
slight wetting, was allowed to be inflicted upon him. These are perilous
times, Master Putnam. Satan is truly going about like a roaring lion,
seeking what he may devour. Against this chosen seed,--this little
remnant of God's people left upon the whole earth--no wonder that he is
tearing and raging."

"Ah me, my Christian friend, it is too true! And no wonder that he is so
bold, and full of joyful subtlety. For is he not prevailing, in spite of
all our efforts? You know there are at least four hundred members of
what rightly calls itself the Church of England--for certainly it is not
the church of Christ--in Boston alone! When the royal Governor made the
town authorities give up the South Church--even our own Church, built
with our own money--to their so-called Rector to hold their idolatrous
services in, we might have known that Satan was at our doors!"

"Oh, that such horrible things should happen in the godly town of
Boston!" responded Squire Hathorne. "But when the King interfered
between Justice and the Quakers, and forbade the righteous discipline
we were exercising upon them, of course a door was opened for all other
latitudinarianism and false doctrine. Why, I am told that there are now
quite a number of Quakers in Boston; and that they even had the
assurance to apply to the magistrates the other day, for permission to
erect a meeting-house!"

"Impossible!" exclaimed Master Putnam. "They ought to have been whipped
out of their presence."

"Yes," continued the worthy Magistrate irefully; "but when the King
ordered that the right of voting for our rulers should no longer be
restricted to church-members; but that every man of fair estate and good
moral character, as he phrases it, should be allowed to vote, even if he
is not a member at all, he aimed a blow at the very Magistracy itself."

"Yes, that is worse than heresy! And how can a man possess a good moral
character, without being a member of the true church?"

"Of course--that is self-evident. But it shows how the righteous seed is
being over-flooded with iniquity, even in its last chosen house; how our
Canaan is being given up to the Philistines. And therefore it is,
doubtless, that Satan, in the pride of his success, is introducing his
emissaries into the very house of the Lord itself; and promising great
rewards to them who will bow down and sign their names in his red book,
and worship him. Ah! we have fallen on evil times, Master Putnam."

And so the two worthy Puritans condoled with each other, until, Master
Putnam, bethinking himself that he had some worldly business to attend
to, Squire Hathorne proceeded to give the necessary directions for the
removal of the three prisoners from Salem to Boston jail.

This was accomplished that very night, as Mistress Putnam had suggested;
Deputy Marshall Herrick and a constable guarding the party. Dulcibel
occupied a pillion behind jailer Foster; Master English and his wife
rode together; while Master Herrick and the constable each had a horse
to himself.

The original plan was for Dulcibel to ride behind Master Herrick; but
upon jailer Foster representing that there might be some danger of a
rescue, and offering to join the party, it was arranged that he should
have special charge of Mistress Dulcibel, whom he represented to Herrick
as being in his opinion a most marvelous witch.

Uncle Robie's true reason for going, however, was that the jailer in
Boston was an old friend of his, and he wished to speak a secret word to
him that might insure Dulcibel kinder treatment than was usually given
in Boston jail to any alleged transgressor.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

Mistress Ann Putnam's Fair Warning.


In the course of the next day the removal of the three prisoners became
known to everybody. Master Raymond wondered when he heard it, whether it
was a check-mate to the plan of escape, with which the magistrates, in
some way had become acquainted; or whether it was a mere chance
coincidence. Finally he satisfied himself that it was the latter--though
no doubt suggested by the rather loose threats of Master English's many
sailors.

When jailer Foster returned, he found means to inform Master Raymond
that it had been entirely impossible--so suddenly was the whole thing
sprung upon him--to let anyone in their secret know of what was going
on. He had not even taken the assistant jailer, his own son, into his
confidence, because he did not wish to expose him to needless danger.
His son was not required to afford any help, and therefore it would be
unwise to incur any risk of punishment. Besides, while Uncle Robie had
made up his mind to do some tall lying of his own for the sake of saving
innocent lives, he saw no reason why his son, should be placed under a
similar necessity. Lying seemed to be absolutely needful in the case;
but it was well to do as little of it as possible.

From his conversation with Master Herrick, Uncle Robie concluded that
nothing had been divulged; and that the magistrates had acted only on
the supposition that trouble of some kind might result from the sailors.
And, looked at from that point of view, it was quite sufficient to
account for the removal of two of the prisoners. As to why Dulcibel also
should be sent to Boston, he could get no satisfactory explanation. It
seemed in fact to be a matter of mere caprice, so far as uncle Robie
could find out.

They had pushed on through the night to Boston--about a four hours' slow
ride--and delivered the three prisoners safely to the keeper of Boston
jail. Uncle Robie adding the assurance to Goodwife Buckley--who acted as
Master Raymond's confidential agent in the matter--that he had spoken a
word to his old crony who believed no more in witches than he did, which
would insure to her as kind treatment as possible. And Robie further
said that he had been assured by the Boston jailer, that Mistress Phips,
the wife of the Governor, had no sympathy whatever with the witchcraft
prosecutions, but a great deal of sympathy for the victims of it.

The game was therefore played out at Salem, now that Dulcibel had been
transferred to Boston; and Master Raymond began to make arrangements at
once to leave the place. In some respects the change of scene was for
the worse; for he had no hold upon the Boston jailer, and had no friend
there like Joseph Putnam, prepared to go to any length on his behalf.
But, on the other hand, in Boston they seemed outside of the circle of
Mistress Ann Putnam's powerful and malign influence. This of itself was
no small gain; and, thinking over the whole matter, Master Raymond came
to the conclusion that perhaps the chances of escape would be even
greater in Boston than in Salem.

So, in the course of the ensuing week, Master Raymond took an
affectionate leave of his kind young host and hostess, and departed for
Boston town, avowedly on his way back to his English home. This last was
of course brought out prominently in all his leave-takings--he was,
after a short stay in Boston, to embark for England. "What shall I send
you from England?" was among his last questions to the various members
of the "afflicted circle." And one said laughingly one thing, and one
another; the young man taking it gravely, and making a note in his
little notebook of each request. If things should come to the worst, he
was putting himself in a good position to influence the character of the
testimony. A hundred pounds in this way would be money well employed.

Even to Mistress Ann Putnam he did not hesitate to put the same
question, after a friendly leave-taking. Mistress Putnam rather liked
the young Englishman; it was mainly against Dulcibel as the friend of
her brother-in-law that she had warred; and if Master Raymond had not
also been the warm friend and guest of Joseph Putnam, she might have
relented in her persecution of Dulcibel for his sake. But her desire to
pain and punish Master Joseph,--who had said so many things against her
in the Putnam family--overpowered all such sentimental considerations.
Besides, what Dulcibel had said of her when before the magistrates, had
greatly incensed her.

"What shall you send me from England? And are you really going back
there?" And she fixed her cold green eyes upon the young man's face.

"Oh, yes, I am going back again, like the bad penny," replied Master
Raymond smiling.

"How soon?"

"Oh, I cannot say exactly. Perhaps the Boston gentlemen may be so
fascinating that they will detain me longer than I have planned."

"Is it because the Salem gentlewomen are so fascinating that you have
remained here? We feel quite complimented in the village by the length
of your visit."

"Yes, I have found the Salem gentlewomen among the most charming of
their sex. But you have not told me what I shall send you from London
when I return?"

"Oh, I leave that entirely with you, and to your own good taste. Perhaps
by the time you get back to London, you will not wish to send me
anything."

"I cannot imagine such a case. But I shall endeavor, as you leave it all
to me, to find something pretty and appropriate; something suited to the
most gifted person, among men and women, that I have found in the New
World."

Mistress Putnam's face colored with evident pleasure--even she was not
averse to a compliment of this kind; knowing, as she did, that she had
a wonderful intellectual capacity for planning and scheming. In fact if
she had possessed as large a heart as brain, she would have been a very
noble and even wonderful woman. Master Raymond thought he had told no
falsehood in calling her the "most gifted"--he considered her so in
certain directions.

And so they parted--the last words of Mistress Putnam being, the young
man thought, very significant ones.

"I would not," she said in a light, but still impressive manner, "if I
were you, stay a very long time in Boston. There is, I think, something
dangerous to the health of strangers in the air of that town, of late.
It would be a very great pity for you to catch one of our deadly fevers,
and never be able to return to your home and friends. Take my advice
now--it is honest and well meant--and do not linger long in the
dangerous air of Boston."

Thanking her for her solicitude as to his health, Master Raymond shook
her thin hand and departed. But all the ride back to Joseph Putnam's, he
was thinking over those last words.

What was their real meaning? What could they mean but this? "You are
going to Boston to try to save Dulcibel Burton. I do not want to hurt
you; but I may be compelled to do it. Leave Boston as soon as you can,
and spare me the necessity that may arise of denouncing you also. Joseph
Putnam, whom I hate, but whose person and household I am for family
reasons compelled to respect, when you are in Boston is no longer your
protector. I can just as easily, and even far more easily, reach you
than I could reach Captain Alden. Beware how you interfere with my
plans. Even while I pity you, I shall not spare you!"



CHAPTER XXXIV.

Master Raymond Goes Again to Boston.


Master Raymond had agreed to keep his friend Joseph Putnam informed by
letter of his movements--for there had been a postal system established
a number of years before through the Massachusetts colony--but of course
he had to be very careful as to what he put upon paper; the Puritan
official mind not being over-scrupulous as to the means it took of
attaining its ends.

He had brought excellent letters to persons of the highest character in
Boston, and had received invitations from many of them to make his home
in their houses--for the Boston people of all classes, and especially
the wealthy, obeyed the Scriptural injunction, and were "given to
hospitality;" which I believe is true to the present day. But Master
Raymond, considering the errand he was on, thought it wisest to take up
his abode at an Inn--lest he might involve his entertainers in the peril
attending his unlawful but righteous designs. So he took a cheery room
at the Red Lion, in the northern part of the town, which was quite a
reputable house, and convenient for many purposes not the least being
its proximity to the harbor, which made it a favorite resort for the
better class of sea-captains.

Calling around upon the families to which he had presented letters on
his first visit, immediately after his arrival in the colony, he
speedily established very pleasant social relations with a good many
very different circles. And he soon was able to sum up the condition of
affairs in the town as follows:

First, there was by far the most numerous and the ruling sect, the
Puritans. The previous Governor, shut out by King James, Sir Edmund
Andros, had been an Episcopalian; but the present one sent out on the
accession of William and Mary, Sir William Phips, was himself a Puritan,
sitting under the weekly teachings of the Reverend Master Cotton Mather
at the North church.

Then there was an Episcopal circle, composed of about four hundred
people in all, meeting at King's Chapel, built about three years before,
with the Reverend Master Robert Ratcliffe as Rector.

Besides these, there was a small number of Quakers, now dwelling in
peace, so far as personal manifestations were concerned, being protected
by the King's mandate. These had even grown so bold of late, as to be
seeking permission to erect a meeting-house; which almost moved the
Puritan divines to prophesy famine, earthquakes and pestilence as the
results of such an ungodly toleration of heresy.

Then there were a number of Baptists, who also now dwelt in peace, under
the King's protection.

Adding to the foregoing the people without any religion to speak of, who
principally belonged to or were connected with the seafaring class, and
Master Raymond found that he had a pretty clear idea of the inhabitants
of Boston.

In relation to the Witchcraft prosecutions, the young Englishman
ascertained that the above classes seemed to favor the prosecutions just
in proportion to the extent of their Puritan orthodoxy. The great
majority of the Puritans believed devoutly in witches, and in the duty
of obeying the command, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." And
generally in proportion to a Puritan church-member's orthodoxy, was the
extent of his belief in witchcraft, and the fierceness of his
exterminating zeal.

The Episcopalians and the Baptists were either very lukewarm, or else
in decided opposition to the prosecutions looking upon them as simply
additional proofs of Puritan narrowness, intolerance and bigotry.

The Quakers held to the latter opinion even more firmly than the liberal
Episcopalians and Baptists: adding to it the belief that it was a
judgment allowed to come upon the Puritans, to punish them for their
cruelty to God's chosen messengers.

As for the seafaring class, they looked upon the whole affair as a piece
of madness, which could only overtake people whose contracted notions
were a result of perpetually living in one place, and that on the land.
And since the arrest of a man so well thought of, and of their own class
as Captain Alden, the vocabulary allowed by the law in Boston was
entirely too limited to embrace adequately a seaman's emphatic sense of
the iniquitous proceedings. As one of them forcibly expressed himself to
Master Raymond:--"He would be _condemned_, if he wouldn't like to see
the _condemned_ town of Boston, and all its _condemned_ preachers,
buried like Port Royal, ten _condemned_ fathoms deep, under the
_condemned_ soil upon which it was built!" He used another emphatic word
of course, in the place of the word _condemned_; but that doubtless was
because at that time they had not our "revised version" of the New
Testament.

The sea-captain who expressed himself in this emphatic way to Master
Raymond, was the captain in whose vessel he had come over from England,
and who had made another voyage back and forth since that time. The
young man was strolling around the wharves, gazing at the vessels when
he had been accosted by the aforesaid captain. At that particular moment
however, he had come to a stand, earnestly regarding, as he had several
times before, a vessel that was lying anchored out in the stream.

After passing some additional words with the captain upon various
matters, and especially upon the witches, a subject that every
conversation at that time was apt to be very full of, he turned towards
the water and said:--

"That seems to be a good craft out there."

It was a vessel of two masts, slender and raking, and with a long, low
hull--something of the model which a good many years later, went by the
name of the Baltimore clipper.

"Yes, she is a beauty!" replied the captain.

"She looks as if she might be a good sailer."

"Good! I reckon she is. The Storm King can show her heels to any vessel
that goes out of this port--or out of London either, for that matter."

"What is she engaged in?"

Here the captain gave a low whistle, and followed it up with a wink.

"Buccaneers occasionally, I suppose?"

"Oh, Captain Tolley is not so very _condemned_ particular what he
does--so that of course it is entirely lawful," and the captain winked
again. "He owns his vessel, you see--carries her in his pocket--and has
no _condemned_ lot of land-lubber owners on shore who cannot get away if
there is any trouble, from the _condemned_ magistrates and constables."

"That is an advantage sometimes," said the young man. He was thinking of
his own case probably.

"Of course it is. Law is a very good thing--in its place. But if I buy a
bag of coffee in the East Indies or in South America, why should I have
to pay a lot of money on it, before I am allowed to sell it to the
people that like coffee in some other country? _Condemn_ it! There's no
justice in it."

Master Raymond was in no mood just then to argue great moral questions.
So he answered by asking:--

"Captain Tolley does not make too many inquiries then when a good offer
is made him?"

"Do not misunderstand me, young man," replied the captain gravely. "My
friend, Captain Tolley, would be the last man to commit piracy, or
anything of that kind. But just look at the case. Here Captain Tolley
is, off at sea, attending to his proper business. Well, he comes into
some _condemned_ port, just to get a little water perhaps, and some
fresh provisions; and hears that while he has been away, these
_condemned_ land-lubbers have been making some new rules and
regulations, without even asking any of us seafaring men anything about
it. Then, if we do not obey their foolish rules, they nab us when we
come into port again, and fine us--perhaps put us in the bilboes. Now,
as a fair man, do you call that justice?"

Master Raymond laughed good-humoredly. "I see it has its unfair side,"
said he. "By the way, I should like to look over that vessel of his.
Could you give me a line of introduction to him?"

"Of course I can--nothing pleases Tolley more than to have people admire
his vessel--even though a landsman's admiration, you know, really cannot
seem of much account to a sailor. But I cannot write here; let us
adjourn to the Lion."



CHAPTER XXXV.

Captain Tolley and the Storm King.


The next day furnished with a brief note of introduction, Master
Raymond, with the aid of a skiff, put himself on the deck of the Storm
King. Captain Tolley received him with due courtesy, wondering who the
stranger was. The Captain was a well-built, athletic, though not very
large man, with a face naturally dark in hue, and bronzed by exposure to
the southern sun. As Master Raymond ascertained afterwards, he was the
son of an English father and a Spanish mother; and he could speak
English, French and Spanish with equal facility. While he considered
himself an Englishman of birth, his nationality sat very loosely upon
him; and, if need be, he was just as willing to run up the French or
Spanish colors on the Storm King, as the red cross of St. George.

After reading the note of introduction, Captain Tolley gave a keen look
at his visitor. "Yes, the Storm King is a bird and a beauty," said he
proudly. "Look at her! See what great wings she has! And what a hull, to
cut the seas! She was built after my own plans. Give me plenty of
sea-room, and a fair start, and I will laugh at all the gun frigates of
the royal navy."

"She looks to be all you say," said his visitor admiringly--but rather
surprised that not an oath had yet fallen from the lips of the Captain.
He had not learned that Captain Tolley, to use his own language, "never
washed his ammunition in port or in mild weather." When aroused by a
severe storm or other peril, the Captain was transformed into a
different man. Then, in the war of the elements, or of man's angry
passions, he also lightened and thundered, and swore big guns.

"Let us go down into the cabin," said the Captain. Reaching there, he
filled a couple of glasses with wine and putting the decanter on the
table, invited his visitor to be seated. Then, closing the door, he said
with a smile, "nothing that is said inside this cabin ever is told
anywhere else."

There was that in the speech, bearing and looks of Captain Tolley which
inspired Master Raymond with great confidence in him. "I feel that I may
trust you, Captain," he said earnestly.

"I have done business for a great many gentlemen, and no one ever found
me untrue to him," replied Captain Tolley, proudly. "Some things I will
not do for anybody, or for any price; but that ends it. I never betray
confidence."

"Do you believe in witches, Captain?"

"Indeed I do."

"Well I suppose that settles it," replied the young man in a
disappointed tone, rising to his feet.

"I know a little witch down in Jamaica, that has been tormenting me
almost to death for the last three years. But I tell you she is a
beauty--as pretty as, as--the Storm King! She doesn't carry quite as
many petticoats though," added the Captain laughing.

"Oh! That is the kind of witch you mean!" and Master Raymond sat down
again.

"It is the only kind that I ever came across--and they are bad enough
for me," responded the Captain drily.

"I know a little witch of that kind," said Master Raymond, humoring the
Captain's fancy; "but she is now in Boston prison, and in danger of her
life."

"Ah! I think I have heard something of her--very beautiful, is she not?
I caught a glimpse of her when I went up to see Captain Alden, who the
bigoted fools have got in limbo there. I could not help laughing at
Alden--the idea of calling him a witch. Alden is a religious man, you
know!"

"But it may cost him his life!"

"That is what I went to see him about. I offered to come up with a party
some night, break open the jail, and carry him off to New York in the
Storm King."

"Well?"

"Oh, you know the better people are not in the jail, but in the jailer's
house--having given their promise to Keeper Arnold that they will not
try to escape, if thus kindly treated. And besides, if he runs off, they
will confiscate his property; of which Alden foolishly has a good deal
in houses and lands. So he thinks it the best policy to hold on to his
anchor, and see if the storm will not blow itself out."

"And so you have no conscientious scruples against breaking the law, by
carrying off any of these imprisoned persons?"

"Conscientious scruples and the Puritan laws be d----!" exclaimed the
Captain; thinking perhaps that this was an occasion when he might with
propriety break his rule as to swearing while in port.

"Your language expresses my sentiments exactly!" responded the young
Englishman, who had never uttered an oath in his life. "Captain, I am
betrothed to that young lady you saw when you went to see Captain Alden.
If she is ever brought to trial, those Salem hell-hounds will swear away
her life. I mean to rescue her--or die with her. I am able and willing
to pay you any reasonable price for your aid and assistance, Will you
help me?"

The Captain sprang to his feet. "Will I help you? The great God dash the
Storm King to pieces on her next voyage if I fail you! See here," taking
a letter out of a drawer, "it is a profitable offer just made me. But it
is a mere matter of merchandise; and this is a matter of a woman's life!
You shall pay me what you can afford to, and what you think right; but,
money or no money, I and the Storm King, and her brave crew, who will
follow wherever I lead, are at your service!"

As Captain Tolley uttered these words, in an impassioned, though low
voice, and with a glowing face and sparkling blue eyes, Master Raymond
thought he had never seen a handsomer man. He grasped the Captain's
extended hand, and shook it warmly. "I shall never forget this noble
offer," he exclaimed. And he never did forget it; for from that moment
the two were life-long friends.

"What is your plan?" said the Captain.

"A peaceable escape if possible. If not, what you propose to Captain
Alden."

"I should like the last the best," said the Captain.

"Why, it would expose you to penalties--and keep your vessel hereafter
out of Boston harbor."

"You see that I have an old grudge of my own," replied the Captain.
"These Puritan rascals once arrested me for bringing some Quakers from
Barbados--good, honest, innocent people, a little touched here, you
know,"--and the Captain tapped his broad, brown brow with his finger.
"They caught me on shore, fined me, and would have put me in the stocks;
but my mate got word of it, we were lying out in the storm, trained two
big guns to bear upon the town, and gave them just fifteen minutes to
send me on board again. That was twenty years ago, and I have not been
here since."

"They sent you on board, I suppose?"

"Oh, the Saints are not fools," replied the Captain, laughing. "As for
being shut out of Boston harbor hereafter, I do not fear that much. The
reign of the Saints is nearly over. Do you not see that the Quakers are
back, and the Baptists, and the prayer-book men, as they call the
Episcopalians!--and they do not touch them, though they would whip the
whole of them out of the Province, at the cart's tail, if they dared.
But there are Kings in Israel again!" and the Captain laughed heartily.
"And the Kings are always better shepherds to the flock than the
Priests."

"You may have to lie here idle for a while; but I will bear the expense
of it," said Master Raymond. "Have the proper papers drawn up, and I
will sign them."

"No, there shall be no papers between you and me," rejoined the Captain
stoutly. "I hate these lawyers' pledges. I never deal with a man, if I
can help it, who needs a signed and sealed paper to keep him to his
word. I know what you are, and you ought to be able to see by this time
what I am. The Storm King shall lie here three months, if need be--and
you shall pay me monthly my reasonable charges. But I will make out no
bill, and you shall have no receipt, to cause any trouble to anybody,
hereafter."

"That will suit me," replied Master Raymond, "I shall be in the
bar-room of the Red Lion every morning at ten. You must be there too.
But we will only nod to each other, unless I have something to tell you.
Then I will slip a note into your hand, making an appointment for an
interview. I fear there may be spies upon my movements."

Captain Tolley assenting to these arrangements, Master Raymond and he
again shook hands, and the latter was put ashore in one of the Storm
King's boats. It was a little curious that as the young man reached the
wharf, ascending a few wooden steps from the boat, whom should he see at
a little distance, walking briskly into the town, but one who he thought
was Master Thomas Putnam. He could not see the man's face, for his back
was toward him; but he felt certain that it was the loving and obedient
husband of Mistress Ann Putnam.



CHAPTER XXXVI.

Sir William Phips and Lady Mary.


When Mistress Dulcibel Burton, in company with Master Philip English and
his wife, arrived at Boston jail, and were delivered into the care of
Keeper Arnold, they received far better treatment than they had
expected.

The prison itself, situated in a portion of Boston which is now
considered the centre of fashion and elegance, was one of those cruel
Bridewells, which were a befitting illustration of what some suppose to
have been the superior manners and customs of the "good old times." It
was built of stone, its walls being three feet thick. Its windows were
barred with iron to prevent escape; but being without glazed sashes, the
wind and rain and snow and cold of winter found ready access to the
cells within. The doors were covered with the large heads of iron
spikes--the cells being formed by partitions of heavy plank. And the
passage ways of the prison were described by one who had been confined
in this Boston Bridewell, as being "like the dark valley of the shadow
of death."

But the jailers seem to have been more humane than the builders of the
prison; and those awaiting trial, especially, were frequently allowed
rooms in the Keeper's house--probably always paying well, however, for
the privilege.

Thus, as Captain Tolley had said, Captain Alden was confined in Keeper
Arnold's house; and, when the party in which the readers of this story
are especially interested, arrived late at night from Salem, they were
taken to comparatively comfortable apartments. The jailer knew that
Master Philip English was a very wealthy man; and, as for Dulcibel,
Uncle Robie did not forget to say to his old crony Arnold, among other
favorable things, that she not only had warm friends, among the best
people of Salem, but that in her own right, she possessed a very pretty
little fortune, and was fully able to pay a good price for any favors
extended to her.

The magistrates in Salem had refused to take bail for Captain Alden; but
Master English was soon able to make an arrangement, by which he and his
wife were allowed the freedom of the town in the daytime; it being
understood that they should return regularly, and pass the night in the
jail--or, speaking strictly, in the Keeper's house.

For things in Boston were different from what they were at Salem. In
Salem the Puritan spirit reigned supreme in magistrates and in
ministers. But in Boston, there was, as we have said, a strong
anti-Puritan influence. The officials sent over from England were
generally Episcopalians--the officers of the English men-of-war
frequently in port, also were generally Episcopalians. And though the
present Governor, Sir William Phips, was a member of the North Church,
the Reverend Cotton Mather taking the place of his father, the Reverend
Increase Mather--and though the Governor was greatly under the influence
of that dogmatic and superstitious divine--his wife, Lady Mary, was
utterly opposed to the whole witchcraft delusion and persecution.

Sir William himself had quite a romantic career. Starting in life as one
of the later offspring of a father and mother who had twenty-six
children, and had come as poor emigrants to Maine, he was a simple and
ignorant caretaker of sheep until eighteen years of age. Then he became
a ship carpenter; and at the age of twenty-two went to Boston, working
at his trade in the day time, and learning how to read and write at
night. In Boston he had the good fortune to capture the heart of a fair
widow by the name of Mistress Hull, who was a daughter of Captain
Robert Spencer. With her hand he received a fair estate; which was the
beginning of a large fortune. For, it enabled him to set up a ship-yard
of his own; and by ventures to recover lost treasure, sunk in
shipwrecked Spanish galleons, under the patronage of the Duke of
Albemarle, he took back to England at one time the large amount of
£300,000 in gold, silver and precious stones, of which his share was
£16,000--and in addition a gold cup, valued at £1,000 presented to his
wife Mary. And such was the able conduct and the strict integrity he had
shown in the face of many difficulties and temptations, that King James
knighted him, making him Sir William.

Now, through his own deserts, and the influence of the Reverend Increase
Mather, agent in England of the colony, he was Governor-in-Chief of the
Province of Massachusetts Bay, and Captain General (for military
purposes) of all New England. And he was living in that "fair brick
house in Green lane," which, years before, he had promised his wife that
he would some day build for her to live in.

Lady Mary was a very sweet, nice woman; but she had a will of her own,
and never could be persuaded that Sir William's rise in the world was
not owing entirely to her having taken pity on him, and married below
her station. And really there was considerable truth in this view of the
matter, which she was not inclined to have him forget; and Sir William,
being a manly and generous, though at times rather choleric gentleman,
generally admitted the truth of her assertion that "she had made him,"
rather than have any controversy with her about it. One of the first
acts of Sir William on arriving to fill his position as Governor, was to
order chains put upon all the alleged witches in the prisons. In this
order might be very plainly traced the hand of his pastor, the Reverend
Cotton Mather. Lady Mary was outraged by such a command. One of her
first visits had been to the jail, to see Captain Alden, whom she knew
well. Keeper Arnold had shown her the order. "Put on the irons," said
Lady Mary. The jailer did so. "Now that you have obeyed Sir William,
take them off again." The jailer smiled, but hesitated. "Do as I command
you, and I will be accountable to Sir William." Very gladly did Keeper
Arnold obey--he had no faith in such accusations, brought against some
of the best behaved people he ever had in his charge.

"Now, do the same to all the other prisoners!" commanded the spirited
lady.

"I may as well be hung for a cow as a calf," said the jailer
laughing--and he went gravely with one pair of fetters all through the
cells, complying literally with the new Governor's orders.

Of course this soon got to the ears of the Rev. Cotton Mather, who went
in high indignation to the Governor. But the latter seemed to be very
much amused, and could not be brought to manifest any great amount of
indignation. "You know that Lady Mary has a will of her own," said he to
his pastor. "If you choose to go and talk to her, I will take you to her
boudoir; but I am not anxious to get into hot water for the sake of a
few witches." The minister thought of it a moment; but then concluded
wisely not to go. For, as Lady Mary said to her husband afterwards, "I
wish that you had brought him to me. I would have told him just what I
think of him, and his superstitious, hard-hearted doings. For me, I
never mean to enter North Church more. I shall go hereafter to South
Church; Masters Willard and Moody have some Christian charity left in
them."

"I think you are too hard on Master Cotton Mather, my dear," replied
Sir William mildly.

"Too hard, am I? What would you say if those girl imps at Salem should
accuse me next! Your own loving wife,--to the world."

"Oh, my dear wife, that is too monstrous even to think of!"

"No more monstrous than their accusation of Mistress English of Salem,
and her husband. You know them--what do you think of that?"

"Certainly, that is very singular and impossible; but Master Mather
says--"

"Master Mather ought to be hung himself," said the indignant lady; "for
he has helped to murder better people than he is, a great deal."


"My dear, I must remonstrate--"

"And there is Captain Alden--he is a witch, too, it seems!" And Lady
Mary laughed scornfully. "Why not you too? You are no better a man than
Captain Alden."

"Oh, the Captain shall not be hurt."

"It will not be through any mercy of his judges then. But, answer my
question: what will you do, if they dare to accuse me? Answer me that!"

"You certainly are not serious, Lady Mary?"

"I am perfectly serious. I have heard already a whisper from Salem that
they are thinking of it. They even have wished me warned against the
consequences of my high-handed proceedings. Now if they cry out against
me, what will you do?"

We have said that Sir William was naturally choleric--though he always
put a strong constraint upon himself when talking with his wife, whom he
really loved; but now he started to his feet.

"If they dare to breathe a whisper against you, my wife, Lady Mary, I
will blow the whole concern to perdition! Confound it, Madam, there are
limits to everything!"

She went up to him and put her arm around his neck and kissed him. "I
thought that before they touched me, they would have to chain the lion
that lies at my door," she said proudly and affectionately; for,
notwithstanding these little tiffs, she really was fond of her husband,
and proud of his romantic career.

But--coming back to our sheep--Dulcibel not having the same amount of
wealth and influence behind her as Master English had, was very well
contented at being allowed a room in Keeper Arnold's house; and was on
the whole getting along very comfortably. Master Raymond had seen her
soon after his arrival, but it was in company with the jailer; the
principal result being that he had secretly passed her a letter, and had
assured himself that she was not in a suffering condition.

But things of late were looking brighter, for Master Raymond had made
the acquaintance of Lady Mary through a friend to whom he had letters
from England, and Lady Mary had begun to take an interest in Dulcibel,
whom she had seen on one of her visits to Mistress English.

Through Lady Mary, in some way, Dulcibel hoped to escape from the
prison; trusting that, if once at large, Master Raymond would be able to
provide for her safety. But there was one great difficulty. She, with
the others, had given her word to the Keeper not to escape, as the price
of her present exemption from confinement in an exposed, unhealthy cell.
How this promise was to be managed, neither of them had been able to
think of. Keeper Arnold might be approached; but Dulcibel feared not--at
least under present circumstances. If brought to trial and convicted
then to save her life, Dulcibel thought he might be persuaded to aid
her. As to breaking her word to the Keeper, that never entered the mind
of the truthful maiden, or of her lover. Death even was more endurable
than the thought of dishonor--if they had thought of the matter at all.
But as I have said, they never even thought of a such thing. And
therefore how to manage the affair was a very perplexing question.



CHAPTER XXXVII.

The First Rattle of the Rattlesnake.


One day about this time Master Raymond was sitting in the porch of the
Red Lion, thinking over a sight he had just seen;--a man had passed by
wearing on the back of his drab coat a capital I two inches long, cut
out of black cloth, and sewed upon it. On inquiry he found the man had
married his deceased wife's sister; and both he and the woman had been
first whipped, and then condemned to wear this letter for the rest of
their lives, according to the law of the colony.[3]

[Footnote 3: See Drake's History of Boston]

Master Raymond was puzzling over the matter not being able to make out
that any real offence had been committed, when who should walk up to the
porch but Master Joseph Putnam. After a hearty hand-shaking between the
two, they retired to Master Raymond's apartments.

"Well, how are things getting along at Salem?"

"Oh, about as usual!"

"Any more accusations?"

"Plenty of them, people are beginning to find out that the best way to
protect themselves is to sham being 'afflicted,' and accuse somebody
else."

"I saw that a good while ago."

"And when a girl or a woman is accused, her relatives and her friends
gather around her, and implore her to confess, to save her life. For
they have found that not one person who has been accused of being a
witch, and has admitted the fact, has been convicted.

"And yet it would seem that a confession of witchcraft ought to be a
better proof of it, than the mere assertion of possible enemies,"
responded Master Raymond.

"Of course--if there was any show of reason or fairness in the
prosecutions, from first to last; but as it is all sheer malice and
wickedness, on the part of the accusers, from the beginning to the end,
it would be vain to expect any reasonableness or fairness from them."

"We must admit, however, that there is some delusion in it. It would be
too uncharitable to believe otherwise," said Master Raymond
thoughtfully.

"There may have been at the very first--on the part of the children,"
replied Master Putnam. "They might have supposed that Tituba and
friendless Sarah Good tormented them--but since then, there has not
been more than one part of delusion to twenty parts of wickedness. Why,
can any sane man suppose that she-wolf sister-in-law of mine does not
know she is lying, when she brings such horrible charges against the
best men and women in Salem?"

"No, I give up Mistress Ann, she is possessed by a lying devil,"
admitted Master Raymond.

"It is well she does not hear that speech," said Joseph Putnam.

"Why?"

"Because, up to this time, you seem to have managed to soften her heart
a little."

"I have tried to. I have thought myself justified in playing a part--as
King David once did you know."

"It is that which brings me here. I met her at the house of a friend
whom I called to see on some business a day or two ago."

"Ah!"

"She said to me, in that soft purring voice of hers, 'Brother Joseph, I
hear that your good friend Master Raymond is still in Boston.' I
answered that I believed he was. 'When he took leave of me,' she
continued, 'I advised him not to stay long in that town--as it was
often a bad climate for strangers. I am sorry he does not take wise
counsel.' Then she passed on, and out of the house. Have you any idea
what she meant?"

Master Raymond studied a moment over it in silence. Then he said:--"It
is the first warning of the rattlesnake, I suppose. How many do they
usually give before they spring?"

"Three, the saying goes. But I guess this rattlesnake cannot be trusted
to give more than one."

"I was convinced I saw your brother Thomas as I came ashore from the
Storm King the other day."

"Ah, that explains it then. She understands it all then. She understands
it all now just as well as if you had told her."

"But why should she pursue so fiendishly an innocent girl like Dulcibel,
who is not conscious of ever having offended her?"

"Why do tigers slay, and scorpions sting? Because it is their nature, I
suppose," replied Master Putnam philosophically. "Because, Mistress
Dulcibel openly ridiculed and denounced her and the whole witchcraft
business. And you will note that there has not been a single instance
of this being done, that the circle of accusers have not seemed
maddened to frenzy."

"Yes,--there has been one case--your own."

"That is true--because I am Thomas Putnam's brother. And, dupe and tool
as he is of that she-wolf, and though there is no great amount of love
lost between us--still I am his brother! And that protects me. Besides
they know that it is as much any two men's lives are worth to attempt to
arrest me."

"And then you think there is no special enmity against Dulcibel?"

"I have not said so. Jethro Sands hates her because she refused him;
Leah Herrick wants her driven away, because she herself wants to marry
Jethro, and fears Jethro might after all, succeed in getting Dulcibel;
and Sister Ann hates her, because--"

"Well, because what?"

"Oh, it seems too egotistical to say it--because she knows she is one of
my dear friends."

"She must dislike you very much then?"

"She does."

"Why?"

"Oh, there is no good reason. At the first, she was inclined to like
me--but I always knew she was a cold-blooded snake and she-wolf, and I
would have nothing to do with her. Then when brother Thomas began to
sink his manhood and become the mere dupe and tool of a scheming woman,
I remonstrated with him. I think, friend Raymond, that I am as
chivalrous as any man ought to be. I admire a woman in her true place as
much as any man--and would fight and die for her. But for these men that
forget their manhood, these Marc Antonies who yield up their sound
reason and their manly strength to the wiles and tears and charms of
selfish and ambitious Cleopatras, I have nothing but contempt. There are
plenty of them around in all ages of the world, and they generally glory
in their shame. Of course brother Thomas did not enjoy very much my mean
opinion of his conduct--and as for sister Ann, she has never forgiven
me, and never will."

"And so you think she hates Dulcibel, mainly because you love her?"

"That is about the shape of it," said Master Putnam drily. "That
Dulcibel feels for me the affection of a sister, only intensifies my
sister-in-law's aversion to her. But then, you see, that merely on the
general principle of denouncing all who set themselves in opposition to
the so-called afflicted circle, Dulcibel would be accused of
witchcraft."

"Well, for my part, I think the whole affair can only be accounted for
as being a piece of what we men of the world, who do not belong to any
church, call devilishness," said Master Raymond hotly.

"You see," responded Master Putnam, "that you men of the world have to
come to the same conclusion that we church members do. You impute it to
'devilishness' and we to being 'possessed by the devil.' It is about the
same thing. And now give me an idea of your latest plans. Perhaps I can
forward them in some way, either here or at Salem."



CHAPTER XXXVIII.

Conflicting Currents in Boston.


All this time the under-current of opposition to these criminal
proceedings against the alleged witches, was growing stronger, at
Boston. The Reverend Samuel Willard and Joshua Moody both ministers of
undoubted orthodoxy from the Puritan stand-point, did not scruple to
visit the accused in the keeping of jailer Arnold, and sympathize openly
with them. Captain Alden and Master Philip English and his wife
especially, were persons of too great wealth and reputation not to have
many sympathizing friends.

On the other hand, the great majority of the Puritans, under the lead of
the Reverend Cotton Mather, and the two Salem ministers, Parris and
Noyes were determined that the prosecution should go on, until the
witches, those children of the Evil One, were thoroughly cast out; even
if half of their congregations should have to be hung by the other half.

At a recent trial in Salem, one of the "afflicted" had even gone so far
as to cry out against the Rev. Master Willard. But the Court, it seemed,
was not quite ready for that; for the girl was sent out of court, being
told that she must have mistaken the person. When this was reported to
Master Willard, it by no means tended to lessen his growing belief that
the prosecutions were inspired by evil spirits.

Of course in this condition of things, the position of the Governor, Sir
William Phips, became a matter of the first importance. As he owed his
office mainly to the influence of the Rev. Increase Mather, and sat
under the weekly ministrations of his learned son, Cotton Mather, the
witch prosecutors had a very great hold upon him. With a good natural
intellect, Sir William had received a very scanty education; and was
therefore much impressed by the prodigious attainments of such men as
the two Mathers. To differ with them on a theological matter seemed to
him rather presumptuous. If they did not know what was sound in
theology, and right in practise; why was there any use in having
ministers at all, or who could be expected to be certain of anything?

Then if Sir William turned to the law, he was met by an almost unanimous
array of lawyers and judges who endorsed the witchcraft prosecution.
Chief-Justice Stoughton, honest and learned Judge Sewall--and nearly
all the rest of the judiciary--were sure of the truth in this matter.
Not one magistrate could be found in the whole province, to decide as a
sensible English judge is reported by tradition to have done, in the
case of an old woman who at last acknowledged in the feebleness of her
confused intellect that she was a witch, and in the habit of riding
about on a broomstick: "Well, as I know of no law that forbids old women
riding about on broomsticks, if they fancy that mode of conveyance, you
are discharged." But there was not one magistrate at that time, wise or
learned enough to make such a sensible decision in the whole of New
England.

Thus with the almost unanimous bar, and the great preponderance of the
clergy, advising him to pursue a certain course, Sir William undoubtedly
would have followed it, had he not been a man whose sympathies naturally
were with sea-captains, military officers, and other men-of-the-world;
and, moreover, if he had not a wife, herself the daughter of a
sea-captain, who was an utter disbeliever in her accused friends being
witches, and who had moreover a very strong will of her own.

Of course if the Governor should come to Lady Mary's opinion, the
prosecution might as well be abandoned--for, with a stroke of his pen,
he could remit the sentences of all the convicted persons. Left to
himself and Lady Mary, he doubtless would have done this; but he wished
to continue in his office, and to be a successful Governor; and he knew
that to array himself against the prosecution and punishment of the
alleged witches was to displease the great majority of the people of the
province; including, as I have shown, the most influential persons. In
fact, it was simply to retire from his government in disgrace.

All this the Reverend Cotton Mather represented to Sir William, with
much else of a less worldly, but no doubt still more effective
character, based upon various passages of the old Testament rather than
upon anything corresponding to them in the New.

And so the prosecutions and convictions went on; but the further
executions waited upon the Governor's decision.



CHAPTER XXXIX.

The Rattlesnake Makes a Spring.


It was a Thursday afternoon, and the "afflicted circle" was having one
of its informal meetings at the house of Mistress Ann Putnam. At these
meetings the latest developments were talked over; and all the scandal
of the neighborhood, and even of Boston and other towns, gathered and
discussed. Thus in the examination of Captain Alden in addition to the
material charges of witchcraft against him, which I have noted, were
entirely irrelevant slanders of the grossest kind against his moral
character which the "afflicted girls" must have gathered from very low
and vulgar sources.

The only man present on this occasion was Jethro Sands; and the girls,
especially Leah Herrick, could not but wonder who now was to be "cried
out against," that Jethro was brought into their counsels.

It is a curious natural instinct which leads every faculty--even the
basest--to crave more food in proportion to the extent in which it has
been already gratified. In the first place, the "afflicted" girls no
doubt had their little spites, revenges, and jealousies to indulge, but
afterwards they seemed to "cry out" against those of whom they hardly
knew anything, either to oblige another of the party, or to punish for
an expressed disbelief in their sincerity, or even out of the mere
wantonness of power to do evil.

Mistress Ann Putnam opened the serious business of the afternoon, after
an hour or so had been spent in gossip and tale-bearing, by an account
of some recent troubles of hers.

"A few nights ago," said she, "I awakened in the middle of the night
with choking and strangling. I knew at once that a new 'evil hand' was
upon me; for the torment was different from any I had ever experienced.
I thought the hand that grasped me around the throat would have killed
me--and there was a heavy weight upon my breast, so that I could hardly
breathe. I clutched at the thing that pressed upon my breast, and it
felt hard and bony like a horse's hoof--and it was a horse. By the faint
moonlight I saw it was the wild black 'familiar' that belongs to the
snake-marked witch, Dulcibel Burton. But the hand that grasped my throat
was the strong hand of a man. I caught a sight of his face. I knew it
well. But I pity him so much that I hesitate to reveal it. I feel as if
I would almost rather suffer myself, than accuse so fine a young man as
he seemed to be of such wicked conduct."

"But it appears to me that it is your duty to expose him, Mistress
Putnam," said Jethro Sands. "I know the young man whose spectre you saw,
for he and that black witch of a mare seem to be making their nightly
rounds together. They 'afflicted' me the other night the same way. I
flung them off; and I asked him what he meant by acting in that way? And
he said he was a lover of the witch Dulcibel; who was one of the queens
of Hell--I might know that by the snake-mark on her bosom. And she had
told him that he must afflict all those who had testified against her;
and she would lend him her 'familiar,' the black mare, to help him do
it."

By this time, even the dullest of the girls of course saw very plainly
who was being aimed at; but Mistress Putnam added, "upon learning that
Master Jethro had also been afflicted by this person, I had very little
doubt that I should find the guilty young man had been doing the same to
all of you; for we have seen heretofore that when these witches attack
one of us, they attack all, hating all for the same reason, that we
expose and denounce them. I may add that I have also heard that the
young man in question is now in Boston doing all he can in aid of the
snake-witch Dulcibel Burton; and representing all of us to Lady Mary
Phips and other influential persons, as being untruthful and malicious
accusers of innocent people." Here she turned to one who had always been
her right-hand as it were, and said:--"I suppose you have been tormented
in the same way, dear Abigail?"

Ann Putnam, her daughter, however, that precocious and unmanageable girl
of twelve, here broke in: "I think my mother is entirely mistaken. I was
treated just the same way about a week ago; but it was not the spectre
of Master Raymond at all--it was the spectre of another man whom I never
saw before. It was not at all like Master Raymond; and I, for one, will
not join in crying out against him."

In those old times, parents were treated with a much greater show, at
least, of respect and veneration than they are at present; and therefore
Mistress Putnam was greatly shocked at her daughter's language; but her
daughter was well known to all present as an exceptional child, being
very forward and self-willed, and therefore her mother simply said, "I
had not expected such unkind behavior from you, Ann."

"Master Raymond has been very kind to all of us, you know--has given us
pretty things, and has promised to send us all presents when he gets
back from England; and I have heard you and father both say, that the
Putnams always stand up for their friends."

This reference to the promised presents from England, evidently told all
around the circle. They had nothing to gain by "crying out" against
Master Raymond, they had something to gain by not doing it; besides, he
was a very handsome young man, who had tried to make himself agreeable
to almost all of them as he had opportunity. And though Dulcibel's
beauty went for nothing in their eyes, a young man's good looks and
gallant bearing were something entirely different.

And so Abigail Williams, and Mary Walcot, and Mercy Lewis, and Leah
Herrick, and Sarah Churchill, and Elizabeth Hubbard all had the same
tale to tell with suitable variations, as young Ann Putnam had. They
were certain that the face of the "spectre" was not the face of Master
Raymond; but of some person they had never before seen. Mercy Lewis and
Sarah Churchill, in fact, were inclined to think it was the face of
Satan himself; and they all wondered very much that Mistress Putnam
could have mistaken such an old and ugly face, for that of the comely
young Englishman.

As for Leah Herrick, she did not care in her secret heart if Master
Raymond were in love with Dulcibel--so that he would only take her out
of the country, where there was no danger of Jethro's seeing her any
more. All her belief that Dulcibel was a witch was based upon jealousy,
and now that it was utterly improbable that Jethro would ever turn his
thoughts in that direction again, she had no hard feeling towards her;
while, as she also had reason to expect a handsome present from England,
she did not share in the least Jethro's bitterness against the young
Englishman.

But although Mistress Putnam was thus utterly foiled in her effort to
enlist the "afflicted circle" in her support, she was not the woman to
give up her settled purpose on that account. She knew well that she was
a host in herself, so far as the magistrates were concerned. And, having
Jethro Sands to join her, it made up the two witnesses that were
absolutely necessary by the law of Massachusetts as of Moses. The
"afflicted circle" might not aid her, but it was not likely that they
would openly revolt, and take part against her in public; and so she
went the very next morning in company with that obedient tool, her
husband and Jethro Sands, to the office of Squire Hathorne, and got him
to issue a warrant for the arrest of Master Ellis Raymond, on the usual
charge of practicing witchcraft.



CHAPTER XL.

An Interview with Lady Mary.


Master Raymond, having obtained an introduction to the Governor's wife,
Lady Mary, lost no time in endeavoring to "cultivate the amenities of
life," so far as that very influential person was concerned. He had paid
the most deferential court to her on several occasions where he had been
able to meet her socially; and had impressed the Governor's lady very
favorably, as being an unusually handsome, well-bred and highly
cultivated young man. A comely and high-spirited lady of forty, she was
better pleased to be the recipient of the courteous and deferential
attentions of a young Englishman of good connections like Master
Raymond, than even to listen to the wise and weighty counsel of so
learned a man as Master Cotton Mather.

Only in the last minutes of their last meeting however, when handing her
ladyship to her carriage, did Master Raymond feel at liberty to ask her
if he could have a short private interview with her the next morning.
She looked a little surprised, and then said, "Of course, Master
Raymond."

"At what hour will it suit your ladyship?"

"At twelve, precisely, I have an engagement at one;" and the carriage
drove off.

A minute or two before twelve, Master Raymond was at the Governor's
house in Green lane; and was duly admitted, as one expected, and shown
into her ladyship's boudoir.

"Now, come right to the point, Master Raymond; and tell me what I can do
for you," said her ladyship smiling. "If I can help you, I will; if I
cannot, or must not, I shall say so at once--and you must continue to be
just as good a friend to me as ever."

"I promise that to your ladyship," replied the young man earnestly. He
really liked and admired Lady Mary very much.

"Is it love, or money?--young men always want one of these."

"Your ladyship is as quick-witted in this as in everything else."

"Well, which is it?"

"Love."

"Ah--who?"

"Mistress Dulcibel Burton."

"What!--not the girl with the snake-mark?"

Raymond bowed his head very low in answer.

Lady Mary laughed. "She is a witch then, it seems; for she has bewitched
you."

"We were betrothed to each other only a few days before that absurd and
lying charge was made against her."

"And her horse--her black mare--that upset the Reverend Master Parris
into the duck pond; and then went up into the clouds; and, as Master
Cotton Mather solemnly assured me, has never been seen or heard of
since--what of it--where is it, really?"

"In an out-of-the-way place, up in Master Joseph Putnam's woods,"
replied the young man smiling.

"And you are certain of it?"

"As certain as riding the mare for about ten miles will warrant."

"Master Mather assured me that no man--except perhaps Satan or one of
his imps--could ride her."

"Then I must be Satan or one of his imps, I suppose."

"How did you manage it?"

"I put a side-saddle on the beast; and a woman's skirt on myself."

The lady laughed outright. "Oh, that is too good! It reminds me of what
Sir William often says, 'Anything can be done, if you know how to do
it!' I must tell it to him he will enjoy it so much. And it will be a
good thing to plague Master Mather with."

"Please do not tell anyone just now," protested the young man earnestly.
"It may bring my good friend, Joseph Putnam, into trouble. And it would
only make them all angrier than they are with Dulcibel."

"Dulcibel--that is a strange name. It is Italian--is it not."

"I judge so. It is a family name. I suppose there is Italian blood in
the family. At least Mistress Dulcibel looks it."

"She does. She is very beautiful--of a kind of strange, fascinating
beauty. I do not wonder she bewitched you. Was that serpent mark too
from Italy?"

"I think it very likely."

"Perhaps she is descended from Cleopatra--and that is the mark left by
the serpent on the famous queen's breast."

"I think it exceedingly probable," said Master Raymond. My readers will
have observed before this, that he was an exceedingly polite and
politic young man.

"Well, and so you want me to get Mistress Dulcibel, this witch
descendant of that famous old witch, Cleopatra, out of prison?"

"I hoped that, from the well-known kindness of heart of your ladyship,
you would be able to do something for us."

"You see the difficulty is simply here. I know that all these charges of
witchcraft against such good, nice people as Captain Alden, Master and
Mistress English, your betrothed Dulcibel, and a hundred others, are
mere bigotry and superstition at the best, and sheer spite and
maliciousness at the worst--but what can I do? Sir William owes his
position to the Reverend Increase Mather--and, besides, not being a
greatly learned man himself, is more impressed than he ought to be by
the learning of the ministers and the lawyers. I tell him that a learned
fool is the greatest fool alive; but still he is much puzzled. If he
does not conform to the wishes of the ministers and the judges, who are
able to lead the great majority of the people in any direction they
choose, he will lose his position as Governor. Now, while this is not so
much in itself, it will be a bar to his future advancement--for
preferment does not often seek the men who fail, even when they fail
from having superior wisdom and nobleness to the multitude."

It was evident that Sir William and Lady Mary had talked over this
witchcraft matter, and its bearing upon his position, a good many times.
And Master Raymond saw very clearly the difficulties of the case.

"And still, if the robe of the Governor can only continue to be worn by
dyeing it with innocent blood, I think that a man of the natural
greatness and nobility of Sir William, would not hesitate as to his
decision."

"But a new Governor in his place might do worse."

"Yes, he might easily do that."

"When it comes to taking more lives by his order, then he will decide
upon his course. So far he is temporizing," said the lady.

"And Dulcibel?"

"She is not suffering," was the reply. "Oh, if I only could say the same
of the poor old women, and poor young women, now lying in those cold and
loathsome cells--innocent of any crime whatever either against God or
against man--I should not feel it all here so heavily," and Lady Mary
pressed her hand against her heart. "But we are not responsible for it!
I have taken off every chain--and do all I dare; while Sir William shuts
his eyes to my unlawful doings."

"Will you aid her to escape, should her life be in danger? You told me
to speak out frankly and to the point."

The lady hesitated only for a moment. "I will do all I can--even to
putting my own life in peril. When something _must_ be done, come to me
again. And now judge me and Sir William kindly; knowing that we are not
despots, but compelled to rule somewhat in accordance with the desires
of those whom we have been sent here to govern."

Lady Mary extended her hand; the young man took it, as he might have
taken the hand of his sovereign Queen, and pressed it with his lips.
Then he bowed himself out of the boudoir.



CHAPTER XLI.

Master Raymond is Arrested for Witchcraft.


As Master Raymond walked up the street toward the Red Lion, he felt in
better spirits. He had secured the aid, if things should come to the
worst of a very influential friend--and one who, woman-like, would be apt
to go even farther than her word, as noble spirits in such cases are apt
to do. Therefore he was comparatively light-hearted.

Suddenly he felt a strong grasp upon his shoulder; and turning, he saw a
couple of men beside him. One he knew well as deputy-marshall Herrick,
of Salem.

"You are wanted at Salem, Master Raymond," said Marshall Herrick
gravely, producing a paper.

Raymond felt a sinking of heart as he glanced over it--it was the
warrant for his arrest, issued by Squire Hathorne.

"At whose complaint?" he asked, controlling his emotions, and speaking
quite calmly and pleasantly.

"At the complaint of Mistress Ann Putnam and Master Jethro Sands,"
replied the officer.

"Of witchcraft? That is very curious. For as Dr. Griggs knows, just
before I left Salem Farms, I was suffering from 'an evil hand' myself."

"Indeed!" said the officer.

"When am I to go?"

"Immediately. We have provided a horse for you."

"I should like to get my valise, and some clothes from the Red Lion."

The officer hesitated.

Master Raymond smiled pleasantly. "You must be hungry about this time of
day, and they have some of the best wine at the Lion I ever tasted. You
shall drink a bottle or two with me. You know that a man travels all the
better for a good dinner and a bottle of good wine."

The officers hesitated no longer. "You are a sensible man, Master
Raymond, whether you are a witch or not," said the deputy marshall.

"I think if the wine were better and plentier around Salem, there would
be fewer witches," rejoined Master Raymond; which the other officer
considered a very witty remark, judging by the way he laughed at it.

The result of this strategic movement of Master Raymond's, was that he
had a couple of very pleasant and good-humored officials to attend him
all the way to Salem jail, where they arrived in the course of the
evening. Proving that thus by the aid of a little metaphorical oil and
sugar, even official machinery could be made to work a good deal
smoother than it otherwise would. While the officers themselves
expressed their utter disbelief to the people they met, of the truth of
the charges that had been brought against Master Raymond; who in truth
was himself "an afflicted person," and had been suffering some time from
an "evil hand," as the wise Dr. Griggs had declared.

The Salem keeper, Uncle Robie, true to his accustomed plan of action,
received Master Raymond very gruffly; but after he had got rid of the
other professionals, he had a good long talk, and made his cell quite
comfortable for him. He also took him in to visit Antipas, who was
delighted to see him, and also to hear that Mistress Dulcibel, was quite
comfortably lodged with Keeper Arnold.

Then the young man threw himself upon his bed, and slept soundly till
morning. He did not need much study to decide upon his plans, as he had
contemplated such a possibility as that, ever since the arrest of
Dulcibel, and had fully made up his mind in what manner he would meet
it. If, however, he had known the results of the conference of the
"afflicted circle" two days previous, he would have felt more encouraged
as to the probable success of the defence he meditated. The constable
that had aided the deputy-marshall in making the arrest, had agreed
however to send word to Joseph Putnam of what had occurred; and
comforted by the thought of having at least one staunch friend to stand
by him, Master Raymond had slept soundly even on a prison pallet.

The next morning, as early as the rules of the jail would admit, Joseph
Putnam came to see him. "I had intended to come and see you in Boston
to-day," said Master Joseph, "but the she-wolf was too quick for me."

"Why, had you heard anything?"

"Yes, and I hardly understand it. Abigail Williams called to see
Goodwife Buckley yesterday, and told her in confidence that it was
probable you would be cried out against by Sister Ann and Jethro Sands;
and to warn me of it."

"Abigail Williams!"

"Yes; and she also dropped a hint that none of the other 'afflicted
girls' had anything to do with it--for they looked upon you as a very
nice young man, and a friend."

"Well, that is good news indeed," said Master Raymond brightening up.

"And I called upon Doctor Griggs on my way here, and he says he is
confident there was an 'evil hand' upon you when you were suffering at
my house; and he will be on hand at the examination to give his
testimony, if it is needed, to that effect."

"But that terrible sister-in-law of yours! If she could only be kept
away from the examination for half-an-hour; and give me time to impress
the magistrates and the people a little."

"It might be done perhaps," said Joseph Putnam musing.

"Do not be too conscientious about the means, my dear friend," continued
Master Raymond. "Do not stand so straight that you lean backward.
Remember that this is war and a just war against false witnesses, the
shedders of innocent blood, and wicked or deceived rulers. If I am
imprisoned, what is to become of Dulcibel? Think of her--do not think of
me."

Joseph Putnam was greatly agitated. "I will do all I can for both of
you. But my soul recoils from anything like deceit, as from wickedness
itself. But I will think over it, and see if I cannot devise some way to
keep Sister Ann away, for a time or altogether."

"Give me at least fifteen minutes to work on the Magistrates, and to
enlist the sympathies of the people in my behalf. For me, so far as my
conscience is concerned, I should not hesitate to shoot that Jezebel.
For the murder of the twenty innocent men and women who have now been
put to death, she is mainly responsible. And to kill her who surely
deserves to die, might save the lives of fifty others."

Joseph Putnam shook his head. "I cannot see the matter in that light,
Friend Raymond."

"Oh," replied Raymond, "of course I do not mean you should kill Mistress
Ann. I only put it as giving my idea of how far _my_ conscience would
allow me to go in the matter. Draw her off in some way though--keep her
out of the room for awhile--give me a little time to work in."

"I will do all I can; you may be sure of that," responded Master Putnam
emphatically.

Here further confidential conversation was prevented by the entrance of
the marshall.



CHAPTER XLII.

Master Raymond Astonishes the Magistrates.


The examination was to commence at three o'clock in the afternoon, and
to be held in the Court House in the town, as being more convenient to
Squire Hathorne than the meeting-house in the village.

As Master Thomas Putnam's house and farm were several miles beyond the
village, it made quite a long ride for them to attend the examination.
He had arranged with his wife, however, to start immediately after their
usual twelve o'clock dinner, taking her behind him on a pillion, as was
customary at that day--his daughter Ann being already in town, where she
was paying a visit to a friend. He had received however a message about
ten o'clock, requesting his immediate presence at Ipswich, on a matter
of the most urgent importance; and though he was greatly puzzled by it,
he concluded to go at once to Ipswich and go from there direct to Salem
town, without coming home again, as it would be very much out of his
road to do so.

According to this new arrangement, Mistress Ann would take the other
horse, and a lady's saddle, and ride to town by herself. They had still
a third horse, but that was already in town with her daughter.

The Court House was but a short distance from the prison; and, as it was
a good Puritan fashion to be punctual to the minute, at three o'clock
precisely Squires Hathorne and Corwin were in their arm-chairs, and
Master Raymond standing on the raised platform in front of them. As the
latter looked carefully around the room, he saw that neither Thomas
Putnam nor his mischievous wife, nor his own best friend Joseph Putnam,
was present. Squire Hathorne also observed that Mistress Ann Putnam was
not present; but, as she was usually very punctual, he concluded that
she would be there in a few minutes, and after some whispered words with
his colleague, resolved to proceed with the examination.

Turning to the young Englishman, he said in his usual stern
tones:--"Ellis Raymond, you are brought before authority, upon high
suspicion of sundry acts of witchcraft. Now tell us the truth of this
matter."

But no answer came from the accused. Then, when all eyes were intently
regarding him, he gave a wild shriek, and fell outstretched upon the
platform.

"Let me to him!" said Dr. Griggs, elbowing his way through the crowd. "I
said a month ago that an 'evil hand' was upon him; and now I am certain
of it."

Master Raymond had not been an attentive observer of the recent trials
for nothing; and he now gave the audience an exhibition which would
compare favorably with the best, even with Mistress Ann Putnam's and
Abigail William's. His face became shockingly contorted, and he writhed
and twisted and turned convulsively. He tore imaginary spectral hands
from around his neck. He pushed imaginary weights from off his breast.
He cried, "Take them away! Pray, take them away!" until the whole
company were very much affected; and even the magistrates were greatly
astounded.

Dr. Griggs loosened his collar and unbuttoned his doublet, and had water
brought to sprinkle his face keeping up a running fire of words at the
same time, to the effect that he knew, and had said, as least a month
before, that Master Raymond had an "evil hand" upon him.

"Who is it hurts you?" at length asked credulous Squire Hathorne.

"See, there is the yellow bird!" cried the young man, staring into
vacancy. "He is coming to peck my eyes out! Kill it! kill it!" dashing
his hands out from his face violently. "Has no one a sword--pray do try
to kill it!"

Here an impetuous young villager, standing by, drew his rapier, and
stabbed violently in the direction of the supposed spectral bird.

"Oh! Oh! You almost killed it! See, there are some of its feathers!" And
three yellow feathers were seen floating in the air; being small chicken
feathers with which he had been provided that very morning by Uncle
Robie, the jailer; and which the adroit Master Raymond rightly thought
would have a prodigious effect.

And the result was fully equal to his expectations. From that moment, it
was evident that he had all the beholders with him; and Squire Hathorne,
disposed as he had been to condemn him almost without a hearing, was
completely staggered. He had the feathers from the "yellow bird"
carefully placed upon his desk, with the purpose of transmitting them at
once to Master Cotton Mather who, with these palpable proofs of the
reality of the spectral appearance would be able utterly to demolish
all the skeptical unbelievers.

Finding that such an effect had been produced, Master Raymond allowed
himself to regain his composure somewhat.

"Mistress Ann Putnam, who is one of the two complainants, unaccountably
is not here," said Squire Hathorne. "Master Jethro Sands, what have you
to say against this young man? You are the other complainant."

"Probably my mother has come to the conclusion that she was mistaken, as
I told her; and therefore she has remained at home," said Ann Putnam,
the daughter; who was delighted with the feather exhibition, and was
secretly wondering how it was done.

"Well, what have you to say,--Jethro Sands?"

The audience looked around at Jethro with scornful faces, evidently
considering him an imposter. What did he know about witches--compared to
this rich young man from over the seas?

"Tell him you find you were mistaken also," whispered Leah Herrick.

"After seeing what we have seen, I withdraw my charges, Squire. I think
that Mistress Putnam and myself must have been visited by the spectre
of somebody else, and not by Master Raymond."

"I hope that next time you will wait until you are quite certain,"
replied Squire Hathorne gruffly. "Do you know that Master Raymond can
have his action against you for very heavy damages, for slander and
defamation?"

"I certainly am very sorry, and humbly beg Master Raymond's pardon,"
said Jethro, very much alarmed. He had never thought that the affair
might take this turn--as indeed it did in many cases, some six months
afterward; and which was a very effective damper upon the spirits of the
prosecutors.

Then the magistrates could do nothing less than discharge the prisoner;
and Master Raymond stepped down from the platform a free man, to be
surrounded by quite a circle of sympathizing friends. But his first
thanks were due to Dr. Griggs for his professional services.

"Doctor, those things you did for me when in the convulsions, relieved
me greatly," and he took out his purse. "Yes, Doctor, I insist upon it.
Skill like yours is always worth its recompense. We must not muzzle the
ox, you know, that treads out the corn." And he put a gold piece into
Dr. Grigg's palm--which was not often favored with anything but silver
in Salem.

Dr. Griggs was glad that he had been able to render him a little
service; and said that, if there had been the least necessity for it, he
would have gone on the platform, and testified as to the complete
absurdity of the charge that that excellent woman, Mistress Ann Putnam,
evidently in mistake, had brought against him.

Then the "afflicted circle" had to be spoken to, who this afternoon did
not appear to be in the least afflicted, but in the very best of
spirits. They now felt more admiration for him than ever; and greeted
him with great cordiality as he came to where they were standing. "When
are you going back to England?" was a frequent question; and he assured
them he now hoped to go before many weeks; and then, smiling, added that
they would be certain to hear from him.

As the crowd thinned out a little, Abigail Williams called him aside;
"and did you really see the yellow bird, Master Raymond?" said she
archly.

"The yellow bird!" replied he dreamily. "Ah! you know that when we that
are 'afflicted' go into trances, we are not conscious of all that we
see."

"For it seemed to me," continued the girl in a low tone, "that those
feathers looked very much like chicken feathers." Then she laughed
cunningly, and peered into his face.

"Indeed!" replied the young man gravely; "well, a chicken's bill,
pecking at your eyes, is not a thing to be made light of. I knew of a
girl, one of whose eyes was put entirely out by her pet canary."

And as he moved at once toward the rest of the group, the quick-witted
and precocious child was compelled to follow.

The magistrates had left the Court House, with the majority of the
people, including Jethro Sands, when who should come in, walking
hastily, and his face flushed with hard riding, but Thomas Putnam.

"Am I too late? What was done?" he said quickly to Leah Herrick, who was
standing near the door.

"Oh, the charge broke down, and Master Raymond was discharged."

"Ah! Where is my wife?"

"She did not come. It was said by your daughter, that she probably
found she was mistaken in the person, and stayed for that reason."

"I do not believe it--she would have told me. What did Jethro Sands do?"

"Oh, he withdrew the charges, so far as he was concerned. There was a
great deal more danger that Master Raymond would prove him to be a
witch, than he Master Raymond."

"I see--it is a case of conspiracy!" exclaimed Master Putnam hotly. "Had
you any hand in this, Master Raymond?" turning to the young Englishman,
who had drawn near, on his way to the door.

"Ah, Master Putnam, glad to see you. You did get here early enough
however to witness my triumphant vindication. Here is learned Dr.
Griggs, and young Mistress Williams, and your own gifted daughter, and
handsome Mistress Herrick, and half-a-dozen others of my old friends who
were ready to testify in my behalf, if any testimony had been needed.
Make my compliments to Mistress Putnam; and give her my best thanks for
her noble course, in confessing by her absence that she was mistaken,
and that she had accused the wrong person."

The cool assurance with which this was uttered, quite confused Thomas
Putnam. Could his wife have stayed away purposely? Perhaps so, for she
was accustomed to rapid changes of her plans. But why then had he been
lured off on a wild-goose chase all the way to Ipswich?

While he was standing there musing, his daughter came up. "I think,
father, you and mother, next time, had better take my advice," said that
incorrigible and unmanageable young lady; just about as opposite a
character to the usual child of that period as could well be imagined.
But these witchcraft trials, in which she figured so prominently had
utterly demoralized her in this as in certain other respects.



CHAPTER XLIII.

Why Thomas Putnam Went to Ipswich.


What young Master Joseph Putnam undertook to do, he was apt to do pretty
thoroughly. When he had once made up his mind to keep both his brother's
wife and his brother himself, away from the examination, he had rapidly
thought over various plans, and adopted two which he felt pretty certain
would not fail. They all involved a little deceit, or at least double
dealing--and he hated both those things with a righteous hatred--but it
was to prevent a great injustice, and perhaps to save life.

As he rode rapidly homeward, turning over various plans, in his mind, he
had passed through the village, when he saw some one approaching on what
seemed to be the skeleton of an old horse. He at once recognized the
rider as an odd character, a carpenter, whom he at one time had occasion
to employ in doing some work on a small property he owned in Ipswich.
Reining up his horse, Master Putnam stopped to have a chat with the
man--whose oddity mainly consisted in his taciturnity, which was broken
only by brief and pithy sentences.

"A fine day Ezekiel--how are things in Ipswich?"

"Grunty!"

"Ah! I am sorry to hear it. Why, what is the matter?"

"Broomsticks, chiefly."

"You mean the witches. That is a bad business. But how shall we mend
it?"

The old carpenter was too shrewd to commit himself. He glanced at Master
Putnam, and then turning his head aside, and giving a little laugh,
said, "Burn all the broomsticks."

"A good idea," replied Master Putnam, also laughing. "Oh, by the way,
Ezekiel, I wonder if you could do a little errand for me?" and the young
man took out his purse and began opening it. "You are not in a great
hurry, are you?"

"Hurry, is for fools!"

"You know where my brother Thomas lives? Up this road?" They were just
where two roads joined, one leading by his own house, and the other past
his brother's.

"I wish I knew the road to heaven as well."

"You know how to keep silent, and how to talk also, Ezekiel--especially
when you are well paid for it?"

The old man laughed. "A little bullet sometimes makes a big hole," he
said.

"I want you to go to my brother Thomas, and say simply these
words:--Ipswich Crown and Anchor. Very important indeed. At once. Wait
till he comes."

"All right." And he held out his hand, into which Master Joseph put as
much silver as the old man could make in a whole week's work.

"You are not to remember who sent you, or anything else than those
words. Perhaps you have been drinking rather too much cider, you know.
Do you understand?"

The old man's face assumed at once a very dull and vacant expression,
and he said in that impressive manner which rather too many glasses is
apt to give, "Ipswich. Crown and Anchor. Very important indeed. At once.
Wait till he comes."

"That will do very well, Ezekiel. But not a word more, mind!"

"Tight as a rat-trap," replied the old man--and he turned his skeleton's
head, and went up the road towards Thomas Putnam's.

Joseph felt certain that this would take his brother to Ipswich. Both of
them were greatly interested in a lawsuit with certain of the Ipswich
people, regarding the northern boundary of the Putnam farms. Thomas was
managing the matter for the family; and was continually on the look-out
for fresh evidence to support the Putnam claim. In fact, bright Master
Raymond had once said that, between the Salem witches and the
Ips-witches, Master Thomas seemed to have no peace of his life. But this
was before the witch persecutions had assumed such a tragical aspect.

When Ezekiel had found Thomas Putnam and delivered his brief message,
without dismounting from his skeleton steed, Master Putnam asked at once
who sent the message.

"Ipswich. Crown and Anchor. Very important indeed! At once. Wait till he
comes," repeated the old man, with a face of the most impassive
solemnity, and emphasizing every sentence with his long fore-finger.

And that was all Master Thomas could get out of him. That much came just
as often as he wished it; but no more--not a word.

Mistress Ann Putnam had come out to the gate by that time. "He has been
drinking too much cider," she said.

This gave a suggestion to Ezekiel.

"Yes, too much cider. Rum--steady me!"

Mistress Putnam thought that it might produce an effect of that kind,
and, going back into the house, soon reappeared with a rather stiff
drink of West India rum; which the old man tossed off with no
perceptible difficulty.

He smiled as he handed back the tin cup which had held it. "Yes--steady
now!" he said.

"Who gave you the message?" again asked Master Putnam.

Ezekiel looked solemn and thoughtful. "Who gave 'im the message,"
replied Ezekiel slowly.

"Yes--who sent you to me?"

"Who sent yer--to--me?" again repeated Ezekiel. "Ipswich. Crown and
Anchor. At once. Wait till he comes." Then the old man's countenance
cleared up, as if everything now must be perfectly satisfactory.

"Oh there is no use in trying to get any more out of him--he is too much
fuddled," said Mistress Putnam impatiently.

"More rum--steady me!" mumbled Ezekiel.

"No, not a drop more," said Thomas Putnam peremptorily. "You have had
too much already."

The old man frowned--and turning the skeleton steed after considerable
effort, he gave his parting shot--"Crown and anchor--wait till he
comes!" and rode off in a spasmodic trot down the lane.

"I shall have to go to Ipswich, and see about this, it may supply the
missing link in our chain of evidence!"

"But how about this afternoon?" queried his wife.

"Oh, I can get to Salem by three o'clock, by fast riding. I will leave
the roan horse for you."

"Saddle the grey mare, Jehosaphat."

And thus it was that his brother Joseph, looking out of his sitting-room
window, about an hour after his arrival at home, saw Master Thomas
Putnam, on his well-known grey mare, riding along the road past his
house on the most direct route to Ipswich.

"He is out of the way, for one--if he waits an hour or two for any
person to meet him on important business at the Crown and Anchor,"
thought the young man. "It is important indeed though that he should go,
and keep himself out of mischief; and from helping to take any more
innocent lives. And when he comes to his senses--in the next world, if
not in this--he will thank me for deceiving him. Now let me see whether
I can do as good a turn for that delectable wife of his."



CHAPTER XLIV.

How Master Joseph Circumvented Mistress Ann.


About an hour afterwards, Master Joseph saw one of his farm-hands coming
over the fields from the direction of his brother's house, which was
about two miles almost directly to the west of his own house. Going out
to meet him, he said--

"Well, Simon Peter, I see that you got the rake."

"Yes, Master Joseph; but they wish me to return it as soon as we can."

"That is right. Finish your job in the garden this afternoon, and take
it back early tomorrow morning. You can go to work now."

The man walked off toward the garden.

"Wait a moment!" his master cried. The man stopped. "Anything new at
brother Thomas's? Are they all at home?"

"No, indeed! Master Thomas has gone off to Ipswich--and little Ann is at
Salem town."

"I could not borrow a horse, then, of them, you think?"

"No, indeed, sir. There is only one left in the stable; and Mistress
Putnam means to use that to go to the trial this afternoon."

"Oh, well, I do not care much;" and his master walked off to the house,
while Simon Peter went to his work.

Then, after a somewhat earlier dinner than usual, Master Joseph ordered
his young horse, Sweetbriar, saddled; and after kissing his wife "in a
scandalous manner"--that is, out of doors, where some one might have
seen him do it--he mounted, and cantered off down the lane.

The young man loved a good horse and he claimed that Sweetbriar, with a
year or two more of age and hardening, would be the fastest horse in the
Province. As to temper, the horse was well named; for he could be as
sweet, when properly handled, as a rose; and as sharp and briary as any
rose-stalk under contrary conditions. A nervous, sensitive, high-mettled
animal; Mistress Putnam, though a good rider, said it was too much work
to manage him. While her husband always responded that Sweetbriar could
be ridden by any one, for he was as gentle as a lamb.

Just as Mistress Ann Putnam had got through her dinner, she saw her
brother-in-law Joseph riding up the lane. The brothers, as has been
seen, differed very widely relative to the Witchcraft prosecutions; but
still they visited one another, as they were held together by various
family ties, and especially by the old lawsuit against certain of the
Ipswich men, to which I have alluded.

Therefore Mistress Putnam opened the door and went out to the garden
gate, where by this time the young man had dismounted, and fastened his
horse.

"Is brother Thomas at home, Sister Ann?"

"No--he had a call to Ipswich this morning."

"Ah--the lawsuit business."

"I suppose so. But the messenger was so overcome with liquor, that he
could not even remember who sent him."

"Why, how could Thomas know where to go then?"

"Oh, the man managed to say that his employee would be waiting for
Thomas at the "Crown and Anchor," where he usually stops you know."

"Well, I am glad that Thomas went. I stopped to see if Jehosaphat could
do a little errand for me--I might have sent one of my own men, but I
forget matters sometimes."

"You will find him at the barn," replied Mistress

Putnam, a little anxious to cut short the conversation, as she wished to
get ready for her ride to Salem.

Going to the barn, Master Joseph soon found Jehosaphat. "How do, Fatty!"
this was the not very dignified diminutive into which Jehosaphat had
dwindled in common use. "How are you getting along?"

"Fair to middlin, sir. Not as well though as on the old place, Master
Joseph."

"I do not want to interfere with my brother, remember; but if at any
time he should not want you any more, remember the old place is still
open for you. It was your own fault, you know, that you went."

"I did not know when I was well off, Master Joseph. I was a fool, that
was all."

"I thought so," replied Master Joseph pithily. "But no matter about that
now--can you do an errand for me?"

"Of course I can--the mistress willing."

"Well, I said I wished to send you on an errand, and she told me where
to find you."

"That is all right then."

"Go to Goodman Buckley's, in Salem village, and ask him for a bundle I
left--bring it to my house, you know, you can take the roan horse
there. And, by the way, Fatty, if you want to stop an hour or two to see
the widow Jones's pretty daughter, I guess no great harm will be done."

Jehosaphat giggled--but then his face clouded. "But Mistress Putnam
wants to take the roan herself this afternoon. The trial comes off, you
know."

"Oh, it is not a trial--it is only an examination. And it is all
fiddlesticks, anyhow. My sister-in-law is ruining her health by all this
witch business. But if she insists upon going, I will lend her one of my
horses. Therefore that need not keep you."

So Jehosaphat, in high glee at having an afternoon's holiday, with the
roan horse, threw on the saddle and mounted.

As he rode at a rapid canter down the lane, Mistress Ann heard the
noise, but supposed it was Master Joseph riding off again,--and did not
even trouble herself to look out of the window, especially as she was
just then changing her gown.

Not long after, coming into the family room, who should she see there,
sitting demurely, reading one of the Reverend Cotton Mather's most
popular sermons, but the same Master Joseph Putnam whom she had thought
she was well rid of.

"I thought you had gone. I surely heard you riding down the lane," she
said in a surprised tone.

"Oh, no, I wanted to speak with you about something."

"Who was it then?--I surely heard some one."

"Perhaps it was one of those spectral horses, with a spectral rider. As
Master Mather says: These are very wonderful and appalling times!" And
the young man laughed a little scornfully.

"Brother Joseph, I do not care to talk with you upon this question. I
greatly regret, as do your brothers and your uncles, that you have gone
over to the infidels and the scoffers."

"And I regret that they are making such fools of themselves," replied
Joseph hotly.

"I have no time to discuss this question, brother Joseph," said Mistress
Ann with dignity. "I am going to Salem town this afternoon, very much in
the cross, to give my testimony against a young friend of yours. Would
that I could have been spared this trial!" and his sister-in-law looked
up to the ceiling sanctimoniously. As Joseph told his young wife that
night, her hypocrisy hardened his heart against her; so that he could
have kept her at home by sheer force, if it were necessary, and at all
expedient--in fact he would have preferred that rough but sincere way.

"If you testify to anything that throws doubt upon Master Raymond's
perfect innocency and goodness, you will testify to a lie," replied
Master Joseph severely.

"As I said, I have no time for argument. Will you be good enough to tell
Jehosaphat to saddle the roan for me."

"You know that I had your permission to send Fatty off on an errand--and
he is not back yet."

Mistress Putnam started and bit her lip. She had made a mistake. "I
suppose he will be back before long."

"I doubt it. I sent him to the village."

"Well, I suppose I can put on the saddle myself. Your conscience
probably would not allow you to do it--even if common courtesy towards a
woman, and that woman your sister, demanded it."

"Without deciding the latter point, I should think it almost impossible
for me to put a saddle on the roan just now."

"Why? I do not understand you."

"Because he is doubtless miles away by this time."

"Jehosaphat did not take the horse!"

"It is precisely what he did do."

"He knew I wanted the roan to ride to Salem town this afternoon."

"He told me you did; but I said that I thought you would have too much
sense to go. Still, if you would go, that I would lend you one of my
horses."

"Well, where is your horse?"

"There, at the door. You can take off my saddle, and put on your
side-saddle, and, if you are in a hurry, Sweetbriar can do the distance
in half the time that the roan could."

Mistress Putnam could have cried with anger and vexation. Like many
people of strong and resolute will, she was a good deal of a coward on
horseback; and she knew that Sweetbriar was what the farmers called "a
young and very skittish animal." Still her determined spirit rose
against thus being outdone; besides, she knew well that in a case like
this, where none of the "afflicted circle," not even her own daughter,
would aid her, the whole thing might fall through if she were not
present. So she said, "Well, I will saddle your horse myself."

Here Master Joseph relented--because he now felt certain of his game. "I
have conscientious scruples against lifting even my little finger to
aid you in this unholy business," he said more placidly, "but under the
circumstances, I will saddle Sweetbriar for you."

So saying, he took off his saddle from the horse, and substituted the
side-saddle which he brought from the barn. Then he led Sweetbriar to
the horse-block, and his sister-in-law mounted.

She glanced at his spurs. "You ride him with spurs, I see. Hand me my
riding-whip," she said, pointing to where she had laid it, when she
first came out.

"I would not strike him, if I were you. He is not used to the whip--it
might make him troublesome."

Mistress Putnam made no reply; but gathered up the reins, and the horse
started down the lane.

A singular smile came across the young man's features. He went back and
closed the door of the house, and then started in a rapid walk across
the field towards his own home. Neither of them thought it mattered that
the house was left for a time unprotected. Mistress Putnam knew that a
couple of farm-hands were at work in a distant field, who would be back
at sundown; and there were so few strollers at that time, that no
farmer thought of bolting up his doors and windows when he went to
meeting, or to see a neighbor.

The way home across the fields was a good deal nearer than to go by the
road, as the latter made quite an angle. And, as the young man strode
swiftly, on he could see in many places his sister-in-law, riding
deliberately along, and approaching the forks of the road, where anyone
going to his own house, would turn and ride away from, instead of toward
Salem.

"When she gets to the forks of the road, look out for squalls," said
Master Joseph to himself. For many had been his own fights with
Sweetbriar, when the horse wanted to go towards his stable, after a long
ride, and his young master wanted him to go in the opposite direction.
Sweetbriar had already gone about twenty miles that day--and, besides,
had been given only the merest mouthful for dinner, with the object of
preparing him for this special occasion.

The next swell in the ground afforded the young man an excellent view.
Sweetbriar had arrived at the turn which led to his stable; where rest
and oats awaited him; and it evidently seemed to Him the height of
injustice and unreason to be asked to go all the way back to Salem
again. Mistress Ann, however, knew nothing of these previous
experiences of the animal, but imputed his insubordinate behavior
entirely to self-will and obstinacy. And thus, as the great globe moves
around the sun in a perpetual circle, as the result of the two
conflicting forces of gravitation and fly-off-it-iveness, so Sweetbriar
circled around and around, like a cat chasing his tail, as the result of
the conflicting wills of himself and his rider.

Master Joseph watched the progress of the whole affair with decided
pleasure. "No woman but a witch could get Sweetbriar past that turn," he
said to himself, laughing outright, "And no man, who had not a pair of
spurs on."

At last, getting out of all patience, Mistress Putnam raised her whip
and brought it down sharply on her horse's shoulder. This decided the
struggle; for, unused to such punishment, the fiery animal reared, and
then turning, sprang up the road that led to his stable at a wild
gallop.

His rider as I have said, was not a very good horse-woman, and she now
took hold of the horn of the saddle with her right hand, to enable her
to keep her seat; and tried to moderate the gait of the horse with the
reins and the voice, abandoning all further resistance to his will as
useless.

Setting off at a run, Master Joseph was able to reach home just about
the same time as his sister-in-law did.

"Ah! I am glad you changed your mind, Sister Ann, about going to Salem.
It is a great deal more sensible to come and spend the afternoon with
Elizabeth."

"Very glad to see you, Sister Ann," said Mistress Joseph, coming out to
the horse-block, at which Sweetbriar, from force of habit, had stopped.

Mistress Ann looked offended, and replied coldly, "I had no intention of
coming here this afternoon, Sister Elizabeth; but this vile brute, which
Joseph lent me, after sending away my own horse, would neither obey the
reins nor the whip."

"You rascal!" said Master Joseph severely, addressing the horse. "You do
not deserve to have a lady ride you."

"Can you not lend me another horse--say the one Elizabeth always rides?"

"All the other horses are out at work," replied Master Joseph; "and
before I could get one of them in, and at all groomed up, ready for the
saddle, I am afraid it would be too late for your purpose."

"So I must be compelled to do as you wish, and stay away from the
examination?" said Mistress Ann bitterly.

"Oh, if you choose, I will put a pillion on Sweetbriar, and see how that
works?" replied Master Joseph with a meek and patient expression of
countenance, as of one upbraided without cause. "To be sure, Sweetbriar
has never been asked to carry double; but he might as well learn now as
ever."

"That seems to be the only thing that can be done now," and the
expression of Mistress Ann's face resembled that of a martyr who was
about to be tied to the stake; for riding on a pillion brought the lady
always into the closest proximity with the gentleman, and she was now
cherishing towards Master Joseph a temper that could hardly be called
sisterly.

There was necessarily a great waste of time in getting the pillion on
Sweetbriar. He never had carried double, and he evidently felt insulted
by being asked to do it. Master Joseph glanced at the sun, and knew it
must be now full two o'clock. Only by fast riding, would it be possible
to get to Salem court-house by three; and the roads, as they then were,
did not admit of fast riding except in a few places.

It was no easy thing for Mistress Ann to get on Sweetbriar, for the
horse backed and sidled off from the horse-block whenever she attempted
it--all his sweetness seemed gone by this time, and the briars alone
remained. At least fifteen minutes more were lost in this way. But at
last the difficult feat was accomplished.

"Hold on to me tightly," said the young man, "or you will be thrown
off--" for the irritated animal began to curvet around in all
directions, manifesting a strong determination to go back to his stable,
instead of forward towards Salem.

"I think we had better try the other road, and not pass the forks where
you had so much trouble with him," said Master Joseph, as the horse went
more quietly, going up the first hill.

"As you think best," said his sister-in-law, in a sharp tone, "If I had
a horse like this I would shoot him!"

"Oh, Sweetbriar is good enough usually. I never saw him so violent and
troublesome as he is to-day. And I think I know the reason of it."

"What is the reason?"

"I fear he has an 'evil hand' upon him," said Master Joseph with great
solemnity.

"Nonsense," replied Mistress Ann sharply.

"He has got the wicked One in him; that is the matter with him."

"That is about the same thing," said Master Joseph.

Now they were at the top of the hill, and the horse broke into tantrums
again; requiring all of Master Joseph's skill to prevent his toppling
himself and his two riders over one of the many boulders that obstructed
the road.

"If you do not hold on to me more tightly, Sister Ann, you will be
thrown off," said Master Joseph, putting back his right hand to steady
her. And Mistress Ann was compelled to lock her arms around him, or take
the chance of serious injury from being dashed to the rough highway. The
young man would have liked to relieve his feelings by a hearty burst of
laughter, as he felt her arms embracing him so warmly, but of course he
dared not.

They soon came near the main road, running due north and south, and
which it was necessary to take, as it led directly down to Salem.
Sweetbriar knew that road well--and that he never stopped when once
turned to the south on it, short of a six mile ride. He remembered his
recent victorious struggle at the Forks, and now resolved upon another
battle. All of Master Putnam's efforts--or what seemed so--could not get
him headed southward on that road. In truth, burdened as he was, the
young man really could not do it, without incurring too much risk to the
lady behind him. Those who have ever had such a battle with a wilful,
mettlesome horse, know that it often requires the utmost patience and
determination on the part of his rider, to come out victorious. The best
plan--the writer speaks from some experience--is to pull the animal
round in a circle until his brain becomes confused, and then start him
off in the right direction.

But Sweetbriar evidently had a better brain than usual, for when the
whirl came to an end, it always found his pointing like the magnetic
needle to the north. It had been Master Joseph's plan to pretend a good
deal of earnestness in the struggle which he was certain would come in
this place; but he was pleased to find that there was no need of any
pretence in the matter. The horse, under the circumstances, the young
man having a lady's safety to consult, was the master. Repeated trials
only proved it. Whenever the fierce, final tug of war came, Mistress
Ann's safety had to be consulted, and the horse had his own way. So, as
the result Sweetbriar started off in a sharp canter up, instead of down,
the road.

"Take me home then," said his sister-in-law--"if you will not take me to
Salem."

"If I _will_ not," repeated Master Joseph. "I give you my honest word,
Sister Ann, that I could not make this horse go down the road, with us
two on his back, if I stayed here all the afternoon trying. I should
think you must have seen that."

"No matter. Take me home."

"Besides, we could not get to Salem before four o'clock now, if
Sweetbriar went his best and prettiest."

"I give it up. Let us turn and go home."

"If we turn and go back the way we came, I do not think I shall be able
to get this self-willed animal past my own gate."

"Well, what do you mean to do?" said the lady bitterly. "Ride on up to
Topsfield?"

Master Joseph laughed. "No--there is a road strikes off towards your
house a short distance above here, and I think I can get you home by it,
without any further trouble."

"Very well--get me home as soon as you can. I do not feel like any
further riding, or much more talking."

"Of course it is very aggravating," replied Master Putnam soothingly,
"but then you know as Master Parris says, that all these earthly
disappointments are our most valuable experiences--teaching us not to
set our hopes upon worldly things, but upon those of a more enduring and
satisfying character."

His sister-in-law's face, that he could not see, she being behind him,
wore a look as she listened to this, which could be hardly called
evangelical.

"You wished very much I know to go this afternoon to Salem," continued
Master Joseph, in the same sermonizing tone; "but doubtless your wish
has been overruled for good. I think, as a member of church, you should
be willing to acquiesce patiently in the singular turn that affairs have
taken, and console yourself with the thought that you have been
innocently riding these peaceful roads instead of being in Salem, doing
perchance an infinite deal of mischief."

"No doubt what you are saying seems to you very wise and edifying,
Joseph Putnam, but I have a bad headache, and do not care to converse
any further."

"But you must admit that your projected visit has been frustrated in a
very singular, if not remarkable manner?" Master Joseph knew that he
had her now at an advantage; she was compelled to listen to everything
he chose to say. His saddle was even better in that respect than the
minister's pulpit--you might leave a church, but she could not leave the
horse.

"I do not see anything very miraculous, brother Joseph, in a young man
like you having a self-willed and unprincipled horse. In truth, the
wonder would be if you had a decent and well-governed animal," replied
his sister-in-law wrathfully.

The young man smiled at the retort, but she could not see the gleam of
sunshine as it passed rapidly over his face; lingering a moment in the
soft depths of his sweet blue eyes. There was no smile however in his
voice, but the previous solemnity, as he continued:--

"And yet if Balaam's ass could see the angel of the Lord, with his
drawn-sword, standing in the way, and barring his further progress in
wrongdoing, why might not this horse--who is much more intelligent than
an ass--have seen a similar vision?"

The young man had begun this speech somewhat in sport; but as he ended
it, the assumed tone of solemnity had passed into one of real
earnestness. For, as he asked himself, "Why should it not be? This woman
with him was bound on a wicked errand. Why should not the angel or the
Lord stand in her way also--and the horse see him, even if his riders
did not?"

Mistress Putnam made no answer. Perhaps now that the young man was
really in earnest, what he said made some impression upon her, but, more
probably it did not.

He, too, relapsed into silence. It seemed to him a good place to stop
his preaching, and let his sister-in-law think over what he had said.

"Thank Heaven we are here at last!" said the baffled woman, as they rode
up to the horse-block at her own door. Sweetbriar stood very quiet, and
she stepped on the block, Master Joseph keeping his seat.

"Will you dismount and stay to supper, brother Joseph?" said Mistress
Ann, in a soft purring tone. Master Joseph fairly started with his
surprise, and looked steadily into her dark, inscrutable eyes--eyes like
Jael's as she gazed upon sleeping Sisera.

"No, I thank you--I expect a friend to supper. I hope brother Thomas
heard some good news at Ipswich. Come and see us when you feel like
it." And he rode off.

As he told his wife afterwards, he would not have taken supper with his
sister Ann that evening as he valued his life.

And yet perhaps it was all imagination--and he did not see that thing
lurking in the depths of his sister-in-law's cold, unfathomable eyes
that he thought he did. And yet her testimony against Rebecca Nurse,
reads to us, even at this late day, with all the charity that we are
disposed to exercise towards things so long past, as cold-blooded,
deliberate murder.



CHAPTER XLV.

The Two Plotters Congratulate Each Other.


When Master Joseph arrived home, he told his wife of what a perverse
course things had taken, amid his own and her frequent laughter. And
then he could do nothing else than walk up and down impatiently,
glancing at frequent intervals towards the road, to see if anybody were
coming.

In the course of an hour or so, nobody appearing and Sweetbriar being
sweetened up again by a good feed, he ordered the horse brought out.
Then he was persuaded by his wife to recall the order, and wait
patiently till sundown.

"What impatient creatures you men are!" said Mistress Elizabeth with
feminine superiority. "Doubtless he will be along. Give him sufficient
time. Now, do not worry, husband mine, but take things patiently."

So Master Joseph was induced to control his restlessness and just as
soon as he could have been reasonably expected, Master Raymond was seen
riding up the lane at a light canter.

"Hurrah!" cried Master Joseph, running to meet him. "And is it all
over?"

"We have smitten Ammon, hip and thigh, from Aroer even till thou come to
Minnith!" answered Master Raymond, laughing. "It was you that kept the
she-wolf away, I know. How did you do it?"

"Come in and I will tell you all about it. And I want to hear how all
went off in Salem."

After a couple of hours' conversation, broken frequently by
irresponsible bursts of laughter, the young men were mutually
enlightened; and complimented each other upon the success with which
they had worked out their respective schemes--while young Mistress
Elizabeth complimented them both, thinking honestly in her innocent
heart that two such wonderful young men certainly had never before
existed.

"How I should like to have seen you astonishing old Squire Hathorne,"
said Master Joseph.

"I am afraid you would have spoiled all by laughing," said his young
wife. "You know you never can control your merriment, Joseph."

"I cannot? You should have seen me preaching to sister Ann this
afternoon. I kept my face all the time as sober as a judge's. You know
she had to take it all quietly--she could not even run away from it."

"I would have given one of your five-pound Massachusetts notes to see
it," said Master Raymond. "And five pounds more to see your brother
Thomas stamping up and down the bar-room of the 'Crown and Anchor,'
waiting for that Ipswich man to meet him."

"I was very careful all through not to tell a direct falsehood," said
Master Joseph; "it is bad enough to deceive people, without being guilty
of downright lying."

"Oh, of course," replied Master Raymond. "I do not know that I told a
downright lie either, all day; although I must admit that I acted a
pretty big one. But you must deal with fools according to their
folly--you know we have Scripture for that."

"I do not think I would have done it merely to save myself," said Master
Joseph, evidently a little conscience-smitten. "But to save you, my
friend, that seems to be different."

"And Dulcibel," added Master Raymond. "If I were imprisoned what would
become of her?"

"Yes, I am glad I did it," responded his friend, regaining his
confidence. "I have really hurt neither brother Thomas nor Sister Ann;
on the contrary, I have prevented them from doing a great wrong. I am
willing to answer for this day's work at the Last Day--and I feel
certain that then at least, both of them will thank me for it."

"I have no doubt of it," said Mistress Elizabeth who herself brought up
in the rigid Puritan school, had felt the same misgivings as her
husband, but whose scruples were also removed by this last
consideration.

As for Master Raymond, he, being more a man of the world, had felt no
scruples at playing such a deceitful part. I am afraid, that to save
Dulcibel, he would not have scrupled at open and downright lying. Not
that he had not all the sensitiveness of an honorable man as to his
word; but because he looked upon the whole affair as a piece of
malicious wickedness, in defiance of all just law, and which every
true-hearted man was bound to oppose and defeat by all means allowable
in open or secret warfare.

"I suppose you go back to Boston to morrow?" said his host, as they were
about to separate for the night.

"Yes, immediately after breakfast. This affair is a warning to me, to
push my plans to a consummation as soon as possible. I think I know what
their next move will be--a shrewd man once said, just think what is the
wisest thing for your enemies to do, and provide against that."

"What is it?"

"Remove the Governor."

"Why, I understood he was a mere puppet in the hands of the two
Mathers."

"He would be perhaps; but there is a Lady Phips."

"Ah!' the gray mare is the better horse,' is she, as it is over at
brother Thomas's?"

"Yes, I think so. Now mark my prediction, friend Joseph; the first blow
will be struck at Lady Mary. If Sir William resists, as I feel certain
that he will--for he is, if not well educated, a thoroughly manly
man--then he will be ousted from his position. You will note that it has
been the game all through to strike at any one, man or woman, who came
between these vampires and their prey. I know of only one exception."

"Ah, who is that?"

"Yourself."

Master Joseph smiled grimly. "They value their own lives very highly,
friend Raymond; and know that to arrest me would be no child's play.
Besides, Sweetbriar is never long unsaddled; and he is the fastest horse
in Salem."

"Yes, and to add to all that, you are a Putnam; and your wife is closely
connected with Squire Hathorne."

"There may be something in that," said his friend.

"Yes, even Mistress Ann has her limits, which her husband--submissive in
so many things--will not allow her to pass. But we are both a little
tired, after such an eventful day. Good night!"



CHAPTER XLVI.

Mistress Ann's Opinion of the Matter.


While the foregoing conversation was taking place, one of a very
different kind was passing between Mistress Ann and her worthy husband.
He had gathered up all the particulars he could of the examination and
had brought them home to his wife for her instruction.

After listening to all that he had to tell, with at least outward
calmness, she said bitterly: "The whole thing was a trick, you see, to
keep you and me away from Salem."

"Do you think so? Do you think then, that no man really wanted to see me
at Ipswich?"

"It is as plain as the nose on your face," replied his wife. "You were
to be decoyed off to Ipswich, my horse sent out of the way, and then
Joseph's madcap horse offered to me, they knowing well that the
worthless creature would not behave himself with any woman on his back."

"Oh, pshaw, Ann; you do not mean that my simple-hearted brother, Joseph
Putnam, ever planned and carried out a subtle scheme of that kind?" said
honest Thomas, with an older brother's undervaluation of the
capabilities of a mere boy like Joseph.

"I do not say that Joseph thought it all out, for very probably he did
not; doubtless that Master Raymond put him up to it--for he seems
cunning and unprincipled enough for anything, judging, by what you have
told me of his ridiculous doings."

"You may call them ridiculous, Ann; but they impressed everybody very
much indeed. Dr. Griggs, told me that he had no doubt whatever that an
'evil hand' was on him."

"Dr. Griggs is an old simpleton," said his wife crossly.

"And even Squire Hathorne says that he never saw a stronger case of
spectral persecution. Why, when one of the young men thrust the point of
his rapier at the yellow bird, some of its feathers were cut off and
came fluttering to the ground. Squire Hathorne says he never saw
anything more wonderful."

"Nonsense--it is all trickery!"

"Trickery? Why, my dear wife, the Squire has the feathers!--and he means
to send them at once to Master Cotton Mather by a special messenger, to
confute all the scoffers and unbelievers in Boston and Plymouth!"

A scornful reply was at the end of his wife's tongue but, on second
thought, she did not allow it to get any farther. Suppose that she did
convince her husband and Squire Hathorne that they had been grossly
deceived and imposed upon--and that Master Raymond's apparent
afflictions and spectral appearance were the result of skilful juggling,
what then? Would their enlightenment stop there? How about the pins that
the girls had concealed around their necks, and taken up with their
mouths? How about Mary Walcot secretly biting herself, and then
screaming out that good Rebecca Nurse had bitten her? How about the
little prints on the arms of the "afflicted girls," which they allowed
were made by the teeth of little Dorcas Good, that child not five years
old; and which Mistress Ann knew were made by the girls themselves? How
about the bites and streaks and bruises which she herself had shown as
the visible proof that the spectre of good Rebecca Nurse, then lying in
jail, was biting her and beating her with her chains? For Edward Putnam
had sworn: "I saw the marks both of bite and chains."

Perhaps it was safer to let Master Raymond's juggling go unexposed,
considering that she herself and the "afflicted girls" had done so very
much of it.

Therefore she said, "I have no faith in Master Raymond nevertheless; no
more than Moses had in King Pharaoh's sorcerers, when they did the very
same miracles before the king that he had done. I believe him now to be
a cunning and a very bad young man, and I think if I had been on the
spot, instead of his being at this very moment as I have very little
doubt, over at brother's, where they are congratulating each other on
the success of their unprincipled plans, Master Raymond would now be
lying in Salem jail."

"Probably you are correct, my dear," responded her husband meekly; "and
I think it not unlikely that Master Raymond may have thought the same,
and planned to keep you away--but it was evident to me, that if the
'afflicted girls' had taken one side or the other in the matter, it
would not have been yours. Why, even our own daughter Ann, was laughing
and joking with him when I entered the court room."

"Yes," said his wife disdainfully--"that is girl-nature, all over the
earth! Just put a handsome young man before them, who has seen the
world, and is full of his smiles and flatteries and cajolements, and
the wisest of women can do nothing with them. But the cold years bring
them out of that!" she added bitterly. "They find what they call love,
is a folly and a snare."

Her husband looked out of the window into the dark night, and made no
reply to this outburst. He had always loved his wife, and he thought,
when he married her, that she loved him--although he was an excellent
match, so far as property and family were concerned. Still she would
occasionally talk in this way; and he hoped and trusted that it did not
mean much.

"I think myself," he said at length, "that it is quite as much the
pretty gifts he has made them, and has promised to send them from
England, as his handsome face and pleasant manners."

"Oh, of course, it all goes together. They are a set of mere giggling
girls; and that is all you can make of them. And our daughter Ann is as
bad as any of the lot. I wish she did not take so much after your
family, Thomas."

This roused her husband a little. "I am sure, Ann, that our family are
much stronger and healthier than your own are. And as to Ann's being
like the other girls, I wish she was. She is about the only delicate and
nervous one among them."

"Well, Thomas, if you have got at last upon that matter of the
superiority of the Putnams to everybody else in the Province, I think I
shall go to bed," retorted his wife. "That is the only thing that you
are thoroughly unreasonable about. But I do not think you ever had a
single minister, or any learned scholar, in your family, or ever owned a
whole island, in the Merrimack river as my family, the Harmons, always
have done, since the country was first settled--and probably always
shall, for the next five hundred years."

To this Thomas Putnam had no answer. He knew well that he had no
minister and no island in his family--and those two things, in his
wife's estimation, were things that no family of any reputation should
be without. He had not brought on the discussion, although his wife had
accused him of so doing, and had only asserted what he thought the truth
in stating that the Putnams were the stronger and sturdier race.

"I do not wish to hurt your feelings, Thomas, in reminding you of these
things," continued his wife, finding he was not intending to reply; "I
will admit that your family is a very reputable and worthy one, even if
it is not especially gifted with intellect like the Harmons, else you
may be sure that I should not have married into it. But I have a
headache, and do not wish to continue this discussion any longer, as it
is unpleasant to me, and besides in very bad taste."

And so, taking the hint, Master Putnam, like a dutiful husband, who
really loved his somewhat peevish and fretful wife, acknowledged by his
silence in the future that the Harmons were much superior to any family
that could not boast of possessing a minister and an island; the latter
for five hundred years!



CHAPTER XLVII.

Master Raymond Visits Lady Mary.


When Master Raymond returned to Boston, he found that an important event
had taken place in his absence. Captain Alden and Master Philip English
and his wife, had all escaped from prison, and were nowhere to be found.
How Captain Alden had managed things with the jailer the young man was
not able to ascertain--probably however, by a liberal use of money. As
for Master English and his wife, they were, as I have already said, at
liberty in the day time, under heavy bonds; and had nothing to do but
walk off sometime between sunrise and sundown. As Master English's ship,
"The Porcupine," had been lying for a week or two in Boston harbor, and
left with a brisk northwest wind early in the morning of the day when
they were reported missing, it was not difficult for anyone to surmise
as to their mode of escape. As to Captain Alden, he might or might not
have gone with them.

As was natural, there was a good deal of righteous indignation expressed
by all in authority. The jailer was reprimanded for his carelessness in
the case of Captain Alden, and warned that if another prisoner escaped,
he would forfeit his, of late, very profitable position. And the large
properties of both gentlemen were attached and held as being subject to
confiscation.

But while the magistrates and officials usually were in earnest in these
proceedings, it was generally believed that the Governor, influenced by
Lady Mary, had secretly favored the escaping parties. The two ministers
of South Church--Masters Willard and Moody--were also known to have
frequently visited the Captain and Master English in their confinement,
and to have expressed themselves very freely in public, relative to the
absurdity of the charges which had been made against them. Master Moody
had even gone so far as to preach a sermon on the text, 'When they
persecute you in this city, flee ye into another,' which was supposed by
many to have a direct bearing on the case of the accused. And it is
certain that soon afterwards, the Reverend Master Moody found it
expedient to resign his position in South Church and go back to his old
home in Portsmouth.

Anxious to learn the true inwardness of all this matter, Master Raymond
called a few days after his return to see Lady Mary. Upon sending in
his name, a maid immediately appeared, and he was taken as before to the
boudoir where he found her ladyship eagerly awaiting him.

"And so you are safely out of the lion's den, Master Raymond," said she,
laughing. "I heard you had passed through securely."

The young man smiled. "Yes, thanks to Providence, and to a good friend
of mine in Salem."

"Tell me all about it," said the lady. "I have had the magisterial
account already, and now wish to have yours."

"Will your ladyship pardon me if I ask a question first? I am so anxious
to hear about Mistress Dulcibel. Have you seen her lately--and is she
well?"

"As well and as blooming as ever. The keeper and his wife treat her very
kindly--and I think would continue to do so--even if the supply of
British gold pieces were to fail. By the way, she might be on the high
seas now--or rather in New York--if she had so chosen."

"I wish she had. Why did she not go with them?"

"Because your arrest complicated things so. She would not go and leave
you in the hands of the Philistines."

"Oh, that was foolish."

"I think so, too; but I do not think that you are exactly the person to
say so," responded the lady, a little offended at what seemed a want of
appreciation of the sacrifice that Dulcibel had made on his account.

But Master Raymond appeared not to notice the rebuke. He simply added:
"If I could have been there to counsel her, I would have convinced her
that I was in no serious danger--for, even if imprisoned, I do not think
there is a jail in the Province that could hold me."

"Well, there was a difficulty with the Keeper also--for she had given
her word, you know, not to escape, when she was taken into his house."

"But Captain Alden had also given his word. How did he manage it?"

"I do not know," replied the lady. "But, to a hint dropped by Dulcibel,
the jailer shook his head resolutely, and said that no money would tempt
him."

"The difficulty in her case then remains the same as ever," said the
young man thoughtfully, and a little gloomily. "She might go into the
prison. But that would be to give warning that she had planned to
escape. Besides, it is such a vile place, that I hate the idea of her
passing a single night in one of its sickening cells."

"Perhaps I can wring a pardon out of Sir William," said the lady musing.

"Oh, Lady Mary, if you only could, we should both forever worship you!"

The lady smiled at the young man's impassioned language and manner--he
looked as if he would throw himself at her feet.

"I should be too glad to do it. But Sir William just now is more rigid
than ever. He had a call yesterday from his pastor, Master Cotton
Mather, and a long talk from him about the witches. Master Mather, it
seems, has had further evidence and of the most convincing character, of
the reality of these spectral appearances."

"Indeed!" said Master Raymond showing great interest for he had an idea
of what was coming.

"Yes, in a recent examination at Salem before Squire Hathorne, a young
man struck with his sword at a spectral yellow bird which was tormenting
an afflicted person; and several small yellow feathers were cut off by
the thrust, and floated down to the floor. Squire Hathorne writes to
Master Mather that he would not have believed it, if he had not seen it;
but, as it was, he would be willing to take his oath before any Court in
Christendom, that this wonderful thing really occurred."

Master Raymond could not help laughing.

"I see you have no more faith in the story than I have," continued Lady
Mary. "But it had a great effect upon Sir William, coming from a man of
such wonderful learning and wisdom as Master Cotton Mather. Especially
as he said that he had seen the yellow feathers himself; which had since
been sent to him by Squire Hathorne, and which had a singular smell of
sulphur about them."

The young man broke into a heartier laugh than before. Then he said
scornfully, "It seems to me that no amount of learning, however great,
can make a sensible man out of a fool."

"Why, you know something about this then? Did it happen while you were
in Salem?"

"I know everything about it," said Master Raymond, "I am the very man
that worked the miracle." And he proceeded to give Lady Mary a detailed
account of the whole affair, substantially as it is known to the reader.

"By the way, as to the feathers smelling of sulphur," concluded the
young man, "I think that it is very probable, inasmuch as I observed the
jailer's wife that very morning giving the younger chickens powdered
brimstone to cure them of the pip."

"I think you are a marvelously clever young man," was the lady's first
remark as he concluded his account.

"Thank your ladyship!" replied Master Raymond smiling. "I hope I shall
always act so as to deserve such a good opinion."

"I would have given my gold cup--which the Duke of Albemarle gave me--to
have been there; especially when the yellow bird's feathers came
floating down to Squire Hathorne's reverential amazement," said Lady
Mary, laughing heartily. "You must come up here tomorrow morning at
noon. Master Mather is to bring his feathers to show the Governor, and
to astound the Governor's skeptical wife. You are not afraid to come,
are you?"

"I shall enjoy it very much--that is, if the Governor will promise that
I shall not suffer for my disclosures. I am free now, and I do not wish
to be arrested again."

"Oh, I will see to that. The Governor will be so curious to hear your
story, that he will promise all that you desire as to your safety.
Besides, he will not be sorry to take down Master Mather a little; these
Puritan ministers presume on their vocation too much. They all think
they are perfectly capable of governing not only Provinces, but
Kingdoms; while the whole history of the world proves their utter
incapacity to govern even a village wisely."

"That is true as the gospel, Lady Mary. But one thing I have always
noticed. That while every minister thinks this, he would himself far
rather be governed even by one of the world's people, than by a minister
of any other belief than his own. So you see they really do think the
same as we do about it; only they do not always know it."

"You are a bright young man," Lady Mary replied pleasantly, "and I think
almost good enough to wear such a sweet rose next your heart as Mistress
Dulcibel."



CHAPTER XLVIII.

Captain Tolley's Propositions.


That evening as Master Raymond was standing in the bar-room of the Red
Lion, Captain Tolley came in, and after tossing off a stout glass of rum
and water, went out again, giving the young Englishman a nod and the
agreed-upon-signal, a smoothing of his black beard with the left hand.
After the lapse of a few minutes, Master Raymond followed, going towards
the wharves, which in the evening were almost deserted. Arrived at the
end of one of the wharves, he found the Captain of the Storm King.

"So you got out of the clutches of those Salem rascals safely?" said the
Captain. "I was afraid I should have to go all the way to Salem for
you."

"You would not have deserted me then, Captain?"

"That is not the kind of a marlinespike I am," replied the Captain
quaintly. "I'd have got you out of Salem jail, unless it is a good deal
stronger than the Boston one."

"Thank you, Captain, but I am glad there was no need of your trying."

"You heard of course that Captain Alden was off, and Master and Mistress
English?"

"Yes--and very glad I was too."

"Why did not your sweetheart go with the Englishes?"

"There were several reasons--one, a rather foolish one, she would not
leave me in prison."

"She would not?"

"No."

"D---- me! Why that girl is fit to be a sailor's wife! When we get her
off safely I intend to have her as the figure-head of the Storm King."

"I am afraid that would be a very unhealthy position--she might catch a
bad cold," replied Master Raymond.

"Oh, of course I mean in wood, painted white with red cheeks," said
Captain Tolley. "It brings good luck to have a fine woman for a
figure-head--pleases old Nep, you know."

"But we must get her off first," rejoined Master Raymond. "Now to keep
out of that hateful jail, she has given her word to Keeper Arnold not to
escape. You know she cannot break her word."

"Of course not," replied the Captain; "a lady is like a sailor, she
cannot go back on her promise."

"And there is where the trouble comes in."

"Buy Keeper Arnold over."

"I am afraid I cannot--not for a good while at least. They are all down
upon him for Captain Alden's escape. They might give him a terrible
whipping if another prisoner got off."

The Captain shrugged his shoulders. "Yes, I saw them whip some Quakers
once. It was not a good honest lash, but something the hangman had got
up on purpose, and which cut to the very bone. I have seen men and women
killed, down on the Spanish main, but I never saw a sight like that!
Good, harmless men and women too! A little touched here, you know," and
the Captain tapped his forehead lightly with his fore-finger.

"Yes--I should not like to hear that Master Arnold had been tortured
like that on our account."

"Suppose we carry her off some night by force, she having no hand in the
arrangements? She can even refuse to go, you know, if she pleases--we
will handle her as gently as a little bird, and you can come up and
rescue her, if you choose, and knock down two or three of us. How would
that do? Half-a-dozen of the Storm King's men could easily do that.
Choose a night with a brisk nor'wester, and we would be past the
castle's guns before the sleepy land-lubbers had their eyes open."

Master Raymond shook his head dubiously. "I do not like it--and yet I
suppose it must do, if nothing better can be found. Of course if we
carry her off bodily, against her will, it would neither be a breaking
of her pledge nor expose Keeper Arnold to any danger of after
punishment, though he might perhaps get pretty seriously hurt in
resisting us, and she would not like that much."

"I suppose then we must wait a while longer," said the Captain. "I am
ready any time you say the word--only be careful that a good west or a
nor'west wind is blowing. When once out on the high seas, we can take
care of ourselves."

"Many French privateers out there?"

"Thick as blackberries. But they are of no account. Those we cannot
fight, we can easily run away from. There is no craft on these seas,
that can overhaul the Storm King!"

With a hearty shake of the hand the two parted, the Captain for the
vessel of which he was so proud; Master Raymond for his room in the Red
Lion.



CHAPTER XLIX.

Master Raymond Confounds Master Cotton Mather.


The next day, a little before noon, Master Raymond knocked at the door
of the Governor's Mansion, and was at once conducted to Lady Mary's
boudoir. "The Reverend Master Mather is already with the Governor," said
her ladyship, "and I expect to receive a summons to join them every
moment." And in fact the words were hardly out of her mouth, when Sir
William's private secretary, Master Josslyn, appeared, with a request
for her ladyship's presence.

"Come with me," said she to Master Raymond; "but do not say
anything--much less smile or laugh--until I call upon you for your
testimony."

As they entered, the courteous Governor handed his lady to a seat on the
sofa; and Master Mather made a dignified obeisance.

"I have brought along a young friend of mine, who was with me, and would
also like to hear of all these wonderful things," said her ladyship; and
Master Raymond bowed very deferentially to both the high dignities, they
returning the bow, while Sir William politely requested him to be
seated.

"I was just on the point of showing to Sir William the most remarkable
curiosities of even this very remarkable era--and he suggested that you
also doubtless would like to see them," said the minister; at this time
a man of about thirty years of age. He was a rather comely and
intelligent looking man, and Master Raymond wondered that one who
appeared so intellectual, should be the victim of such absurd
hallucinations.

Lady Mary bent her head approvingly, in answer to the minister. "I
should like very much to see them," she replied courteously; and Master
Mather continued:--

"In the work I have been preparing on the "Wonders of the Invisible
World," several of the sheets of which I have already shown to Sir
William, I have collected many curious and wonderful instances. Thus in
the case of the eldest daughter of Master John Goodwin, whom I took to
my own house, in order that I might more thoroughly investigate the
spiritual and physical phenomena of witchcraft, I found that while the
devils that tormented her were familiar with Latin, Greek and Hebrew,
they seemed to have very little knowledge of the various Indian
dialects."

"That certainly is very curious," replied Sir William, "inasmuch as
those heathen are undeniably the children of the devil, as all our
wisest and most godly ministers agree."

"Yes," continued the minister, "it is true; and that makes me
conjecture, that these devils were in fact only playing a part; to
deceive me into thinking that the red heathen around us were not really
the children of Satan, as they undoubtedly are."

"I think that the most reasonable view," responded the Governor.

"As to the reality of this new assault by Satan upon this little seed of
God's people in the new world," continued Master Mather, fervently, "I
have now no doubt whatever. Proof has been multiplied upon proof, and
the man, or woman, who does not by this time believe, is simply one of
those deplorable doubters, like Thomas, who never can be convinced. For
my part, I consider Witchcraft the most nefandous high treason against
the Majesty on High! And a principal design of my book is to manifest
its hideous enormity, and to promote a pious thankfulness to God that
Justice so far is being inflexibly executed among us."

Lady Mary's face flushed a little, for she saw the drift of the
minister's censure. It was well known in all the inner circles, that she
had neither faith in the reality of witchcraft, nor the least sympathy
with the numerous prosecutions, and the inflexible justice which the
minister lauded. The Governor knew his wife's temper, and hastened to
say:--

"Still we must admit, Master Mather, that some persons, with tender
conscience, require more convincing proofs than do others. And therefore
I was anxious that Lady Mary should see these feathers you spoke of, cut
from the wings of one of those yellow birds which appear to be used so
frequently as familiars by the Salem witches."

"Oh, yes, I had forgotten them for the moment." And putting his hand
into his breast pocket, Master Mather produced a small box, which he
opened carefully and called their attention to a couple of small yellow
feathers placed on a piece of black cloth within. "I would not take a
hundred pounds for these spectral feathers," said the minister
exultingly. "They are the only positive proof of the kind, now existing
in the whole world. With these little feathers I shall dash out the
brains of a host of unbelievers--especially of that silly Calef, or
Caitiff, who is all the time going around among the merchants, wagging
his vile tongue against me."

Sir William and Lady Mary had been looking upon the feathers very
curiously. At last Lady Mary gave a low, incredulous laugh. Her husband
looked at her inquiringly.

"They are nothing but common chicken feathers which could be picked up
in any barn yard," she said scornfully.

"Your ladyship is very much mistaken, you never saw chicken feathers
like those," said the minister, his face now also flushing.

"Who was the yellow bird afflicting, when these feathers were cut?" the
lady asked.

"A young man was on his examination for witchcraft, Squire Hathorne
writes me; but he was found to be himself a victim, and was
released--which proves, by the way, how careful the worshipful
magistrates are in Salem, lest any who are innocent should be implicated
with the guilty. The young man began to cry out that an 'evil hand' was
on him, and that a yellow bird was trying to peck out his eyes.
Whereupon one of the by-standers pulled out his rapier, and smote at the
spectral bird--when these feathers were cut off; becoming visible of
course as soon as they were detached from the bird and its evil
influence. It is one of the most wonderful things that I ever heard of,"
and Master Mather gazed on the feathers with admiring and almost
reverential eyes.

"Sir William," said his lady, "you have, I hope, a little common sense
left, if these Massachusetts ministers and magistrates have all gone
crazy on this subject. You know what a chicken is, if they do not. Are
not those simply chicken feathers?"

"Why, my dear," replied the Governor, wriggling in his great arm-chair,
"I grant that they certainly do look like chicken feathers; but then you
know, the yellow bird the witches use, may have feathers like unto a
chicken's."

"Nonsense!" replied Lady Mary. "None are so blind as those that will not
see. I suppose that if I were to bring that afflicted young man here,
and he were to acknowledge that the whole thing was a trick, got up by
him to save his life, you would not believe him?"

"Indeed I should," replied Sir William.

"Yes, Lady Mary, find the young man, and question him yourself," said
Master Mather. "None are so certain as those that have never informed
themselves. I have made inquiry into these marvelous things; I even
took that afflicted girl, as I have told you, into my own house, in
order to inform myself of the truth. When you have investigated the
matter to one-tenth the extent that I have, you will be prepared to give
a reasonable opinion as to its truth or falsehood. Until then, some
modesty of statement would become a lady who sets up her crude opinion
against all the ministers and the magistracy of the land."

This was a tone which the leading ministers of that day among the
Puritans, did not hesitate to take, even where high dignitaries were
concerned and Master Mather had the highest ideas of the privilege of
his order.

"Then I suppose, Master Mather, that if the afflicted young man himself
should testify that these feathers were simply chicken feathers, that he
had artfully thrown up into the air, you would not acknowledge that he
had deceived you?"

"If such an impossible thing could happen, though I know that it could
not, of course I should be compelled to admit that Squire Hathorne and a
hundred others, who all saw this marvelous thing plainly, in open day,
were deceived by the trick of an unprincipled mountebank and juggler."

"I shall hold both you and Sir William to your word," replied Lady Mary
emphatically. Then, turning to the young Englishman, who had remained
entirely silent so far, paying evident attention to all that was spoken,
but giving no sign of approval or disapproval, she said, "Master
Raymond, what do you think of this matter?"

Master Raymond rose from his chair and stepped a pace or two forward.
Then he said, "If I answer your ladyship's question freely, it might be
to my own hurt. Having had my head once in the lion's mouth, I am not
anxious to put it there again."

The lady looked significantly at Sir William.

"Speak out truly, and fear nothing, young man," said the Governor.
"Nothing that you say here shall ever work you injury while I am
Governor of the Province."

"What do you wish to know, Lady Mary?"

"You, I believe, were the afflicted young man, to whom Master Mather has
referred?"

Master Raymond bowed.

"Was there any reality in those pretended afflictions?"

"Only a bad cold to begin with," said the young man smiling.

"How about the yellow bird?"

"It was all a sham. I dealt with credulous and dangerous fools according
to their folly."

"How about those feathers?"

"They are feathers I got from the wings of one of the Salem jailor's
chickens."

Sir William laughed,

"How about the smell of sulphur which Squire Hathorne and Master Mather
have detected in the feathers?"

"I think it very probable; as I observed Goodwife Foster that morning
giving her chickens powdered brimstone for the pip."

Here the Governor laughed loudly and long until Master Mather said
indignantly, "I am sorry, Sir William, that you can treat so lightly
this infamous confession of falsehood and villainy. This impudent young
man deserves to be set for three days in the pillory, and then whipped
at the cart's tail out of town."

"Of course it is a very shameful piece of business," replied the Governor,
regaining his gravity. "But you know that as the confession has been
made only on the promise of perfect immunity, I cannot, as a man of my
word, suffer the least harm to come to the young person for making it."

"Oh, of course not," said the minister, taking up his hat, and
preparing to leave the room; "but it is scandalous! scandalous! All
respect for the Magistracy and authority seems to be fading out of the
popular mind. I consider you a dangerous man, a very dangerous young
man!" This last of course to Master Raymond.

"And I consider you tenfold more dangerous with your clerical influence,
and credulity, and superstition!" replied the young Englishman hotly.
Being of good family, he was not inclined to take such insults mildly.
"How dare you, with your hands all red with the blood of twenty innocent
men and women, talk to me about being dangerous!"

"Peace!" said Sir William with dignity. "My audience chamber is no place
to quarrel in.

"I beg your Excellency's pardon!" said Master Raymond, humbly.

"One moment, before you go," said Lady Mary, stepping in front of the
minister. "I suppose you will be as good as your word, Master Mather and
admit that with all your wisdom you were entirely mistaken?"

"I acknowledge that Squire Hathorne and myself have been grossly
deceived by an unprincipled adventurer--but that proves nothing.
Because Jannes and Jambres imitated with their sorceries the miracles
of Moses, did it prove that Moses was an impostor? There was one Judas
among the twelve apostles, but does that invalidate the credibility of
the eleven others, who were not liars and cheats? It is the great and
overwhelming burden of the testimony which decides in this as in all
other disputed matters--not mere isolated cases. Good afternoon, madam.
I will see you soon again, Sir William, when we can have a quiet talk to
ourselves."

"Stay!" cried Lady Mary, as the offended minister was stalking out of
the room. "You have forgotten something," and she pointed to the little
box, containing the chicken's feathers which had been left lying upon
the table.

The minister gave a gesture expressive of mingled contempt and
indignation--but did not come back for it. It was evident that he valued
the feathers now at considerably less than one hundred pounds.

"Young man," said the Governor, smiling, "you are a very bright and
keen-witted person, but I would advise you not to linger in this
province any longer than is absolutely necessary. Master Mather is much
stronger here than I am."



CHAPTER L.

Bringing Affairs to a Crisis.


The next morning a note came to Master Raymond from Joseph Putnam,
brought by one of the farm-hands.

It was important. Abigail Williams had called upon Goodwife Buckley, and
told her in confidence that it was in contemplation, as she had learned
from Ann Putnam, to bring Dulcibel Burton back to Salem jail again. The
escape of Captain Alden and the Englishes from the Bridewell in Boston,
had caused a doubt in Salem as to its security. Besides, Lady Phips had
taken ground so openly against the witch prosecutions, that there was no
knowing to how great an extent she might not go to aid any prisoner in
whom she took an interest.

Abigail Williams further said that Mistress Ann Putnam had become very
bitter both against her brother-in-law Joseph and his friend Master
Raymond. She was busy combatting the idea that the latter really ever
had been afflicted--and was endeavoring to rouse Squire Hathorne's
indignation against him as being a deceiver.

As the young man read this last, he wondered what effect would be
produced upon the credulous magistrate, when he received word from
Master Mather as to what had occurred in the Governor's presence. Would
he be so angry as to take very arbitrary measures; or so ashamed as to
let it all pass, rather than expose the extent to which he had been
duped? He feared the former--knowing in which way Mistress Ann Putnam's
great influence with him would be directed.

Master Joseph advised immediate action--if peaceable means would not
serve, then the use of violent ones. If Captain Tolley could not find
among his sailors those who would undertake the job, he, Master Joseph,
would come down any night with three stout men, overpower the keepers,
and carry off Mistress Dulcibel, with the requisite amount of violence
to keep her promise unbroken.

Master Raymond wrote a note in return. He was much obliged for the
information. It was evident that the time had come for action; and that
it was dangerous to delay much longer. Of course peaceable means were to
be preferred; and it was possible he might be able either to bribe the
keeper, or to get a release from the Governor; but, if force had to be
resorted to, Captain Tolley could command his whole crew for such a
service, as they were the kind of men who would like nothing better. In
fact, they would not hesitate to open fire upon the town, if he ordered
it--and even run up the flag of a French privateer.

After dispatching this business, Master Raymond went out on the porch of
the Red Lion, and began an examination of the clouds and the
weather-cocks. It had been raining slightly for a day or two, with the
wind from the southeast; but though the vanes still pointed to the
southeast, and the light lower clouds were moving from the same point
of the compass, he caught glimpses through the scud of higher clouds
that were moving in an entirely opposite direction.

"How do you make it out?" said a well-known voice. He had heard some one
approaching, but had supposed it to be a stranger.

"I am not much of a sailor; but I should say it would clear up, with a
brisk wind from the west or the northwest by afternoon."

"Aye!" said Captain Tolley, for it was he; "and a stiff nor'wester by
night. If it isn't I'll give my head for a foot-ball. Were I bound out
of the harbor, I would not whistle for a better wind than we shall have
before six hours are over."

Master Raymond glanced around; no one was near them. "Are you certain of
that, Captain? Would it do to bet upon?

"You may bet all you are worth, and your sweetheart into the bargain,"
replied the Captain laughing, with a significant look out of his eyes.

"When are you going, Captain?"

"Oh, to-night, perhaps--if I can get all my live stock on board.

"To-night then let it be," said the young man in a whisper; "by fair
means, or by foul. I may succeed by fair means; have a boat waiting at
the wharf for me. It will be light enough to get out of the harbor?"

"There is a gibbous moon--plenty. Once past the castle, and we are safe.
We can easily break open the keeper's house--and quiet him with a pistol
at his head."

"You must not harm him--he has been a good friend to her."

"Of course--only scare him a little. Besides, he is not a good friend,
if he makes a noise."

"Well, I will see you by ten o'clock--with her or without her--Yes, I
will bet you a gold piece, Captain, that the wind gets around to the
west by four o'clock." This last was in Master Raymond's usual
tones--the previous conversation having been in whispers.

"You will be safe enough in that, Master Raymond," said the landlord of
the Red Lion, whose steps the young Englishman had heard approaching.

"Do you think so? I do not want to take the young man's money, he is
only a landsman you know, Mate; but I will bet you a piece of eight that
the wind will not get around till a half hour after that time. And we
will take it all out in drinks at your bar, at our leisure."

"Done!" said the landlord. "And now let us go in, and take a drink all
around in advance."



CHAPTER LI.

Lady Mary's Coup D'Etat.


Master Raymond's next proceeding was to call on Lady Phips. Sending in
his name, with a request to see her ladyship on very important business,
he was ushered as usual into her boudoir.

"I must be doing something, Lady Mary," he said, after a few words
relative to the evident change of weather; "I have news from Salem that
the Magistrates are about to send Mistress Dulcibel back to Salem jail."

"That is sad," she answered.

"And, besides, there is no knowing what new proceedings they may be
concocting against me. I must take Sir William's advice, and get out of
this hornet's nest as soon as possible."

"Well what can I do for you?"

"Get an order from Sir William releasing Dulcibel from prison."

"Oh, that I could! God knows how gladly I would do it."

"You can at least try," said Master Raymond desperately.

The lady hesitated a moment. "Yes, as you say, I can at least try. But
you know how impossible it is to carry on the government of this
Province without the support of the ministers and the magistrates. Sir
William is naturally anxious to succeed; for, if he fails here, it will
block his road to further preferment."

"And he will allow the shedding of innocent blood to go on, in order to
promote his own selfish ambition?" said the young man indignantly.

"You are unjust to the Governor. He will do all he can to moderate this
fanaticism; and, if it comes to the worst, he will order a general
jail-delivery, and meet the consequences. But he hopes much from time,
and from such developments as those of your chicken feathers"--and the
lady smiled at the thought of the minister's discomfiture.

"Some things can wait, but I cannot wait," insisted Master Raymond. "You
must acknowledge that."

"Sir William starts this afternoon on a visit to Plymouth, to remain for
a day or so; but I will have a talk with him, and see what I can do,"
replied the lady. "Call here again at six o'clock this evening."

"Such beauty and spirit as yours must be irresistible in the cause of
virtue and innocence," said the young man, rising to depart.

"No flattery, Master Raymond; I will do all I can without that;" but
Lady Mary being still a very comely woman, as she certainly was a very
spirited one, was not much displeased at the compliment, coming from
such a handsome young man as Master Raymond. Eulogy that the hearer
hopes embodies but the simple truth, is always pleasant alike to men and
women. It is falsehood, and not truth, that constitutes the essence of
Flattery.

The day dragged on very drearily and slowly to Master Raymond. The
waiting for the hour of action is so irksome, that even the approach of
danger is a relief. But patience will at last weary out the slowest
hours; and punctually at six o'clock, the young man stood again at the
door of the Governor's mansion.

Lady Mary evidently was expecting him--for he was shown in at once. She
looked up wearily as he entered. "I can do nothing to-day," she said.

"What ground did the Governor take?"

"That sound policy forbade him to move in the matter at present. The
persecuting party were very indignant at the escape of Captain Alden
and the Englishes; and now for him to grant a pardon to another of the
accused, would be to irritate them to madness."

Master Raymond acknowledged to himself the soundness of the Governor's
policy; but he only said: "Then it seems that Dulcibel must go back to
Salem prison; and I run a good chance of going to prison also, as a
self-confessed deceiver and impostor."

"If she were released, could you both get away from Boston--at once?"

Master Raymond's voice sank to a whisper. "I have all my plans arranged.
By the third hour after midnight, we shall be where we can snap our
fingers at the magistrates of Boston."

"I have been thinking of a plan. It may work--or may not. But it is
worth trying."

The young man's face lightened.

"You know that England is ruled by William and Mary, why should not the
Province of Massachusetts also be?"

"I do not understand you."

"Upon leaving Sir William, I was somewhat indignant that he would not
grant my request. And to pacify me, he said he was sorry that I had not
the same share in the government here, that Queen Mary had at home--and
then I could do more as I pleased."

Still Master Raymond's face showed that he was puzzled to catch her
meaning.

She laughed and rose from her chair; the old, resolute expression upon
her spirited face, and, opening the door into the next room, which was
the Governor's private office, she said:

"Come here a moment, Master Josslyn."

The private Secretary entered.

"Prepare me," she said to the Secretary, "the proper paper, to be signed
by the Governor, ordering Keeper Arnold to release at once Mistress
Dulcibel Burton from confinement in the Boston Bridewell."

"But the Governor, you know, is absent, Lady Mary," said the Secretary,
"and his signature will be necessary."

"Oh, I will see to that," replied the lady a little haughtily.

Master Raymond sat quietly--waiting for what was to come next. He could
not conceive how Lady Mary intended to manage it. As for the lady, she
tapped the table with her shapely fingers impatiently.

In a few minutes Master Josslyn reappeared with the paper. "All it now
wants is the signature of the Governor," said he.

The lady took up a pen from the table by which she was sitting, and
filled it with ink; then with a firm hand she signed the paper, "William
Phips, Governor, by Lady Mary Phips."

"But, your ladyship, the keeper will not acknowledge the validity of
that signature, or obey it," said Master Josslyn in some alarm.

"He will not? We shall see!" responded her ladyship rising. "Order my
carriage, Master Josslyn."

In fifteen minutes, Lady Mary, accompanied by Master Raymond, was at
Keeper Arnold's house.

"I bring you good news, Master Arnold," said Lady Mary, "I know you will
rejoice, such a tender-hearted man as you are at the release of Mistress
Dulcibel Burton. Here is the official document." She flourished it at
him, but still kept it in her hand.

Dulcibel was soon informed of the good news; and came flying out to meet
her benefactor and her lover.

"Put on a shawl and your veil at once; and make a bundle of your
belongings," said Lady Mary, kissing her. "Master Raymond is in a great
hurry to carry you off--at which I confess that I do not wonder."
Dulcibel tripped off--the sooner she was out of that close place the
better.

"Well, what is it, Master Arnold?" said Lady Mary to the keeper, who
acted as if he wished to say something.

"It is only a form, my lady; but you have not shown me the Governor's
warrant yet?"

"Why, yes I have," said Lady Mary, fluttering it at him as before.

But Keeper Arnold was fully aware of the responsibility of his position;
and putting out his hand, he steadied the fluttering paper sufficiently
to glance over its contents. When he came to the signature, his face
paled. "Pardon me, my lady; but this is not the Governor's writing."

"Of course it is not--why, you silly loon, how could it be when he has
gone to Plymouth? But you will perceive that it is in Master Josslyn's
writing--and the Governor ought to have signed it before he started."

"This is hardly in regular form, my lady."

"It is not? Do you not see the Governor's name; and there below it is
my name, as proof of the Governor's. Do you mean to impeach my
attestation of Sir William's signature? There is my name, Lady Mary
Phips: and I will take the responsibility of this paper being a legal
one. If anybody finds fault with you, send him to me; and I will say you
did it, in the Governor's absence from town, at my peremptory order."
The lady's face glowed, and her eyes flashed, with her excitement and
determination.

"It would be as much as my position is worth to disobey it and me!"
rejoined Lady Mary. "I will have you out of this place in three days'
time, if you cast disrespect upon my written name."

"There can be no great haste in this matter. Bring the release tomorrow,
and I will consult authority in the meanwhile," said the keeper
pleadingly.

"Authority? The Governor's name is authority! I am authority! Who dare
you set up beside us? You forget your proper respect and duty, Master
Arnold."

The keeper was overborne at last. "You will uphold me, if I do this
thing, Lady Mary?" said he imploringly.

"You know me, Master Arnold--and that I never desert my friends! I
shall accept the full responsibility of this deed before Sir William and
the magistrates. And they cannot order any punishment which he cannot
pardon."

By this time it had grown quite dark. "Shall I take you anywhere in my
carriage?" said Lady Mary, as Dulcibel reappeared with a bundle.

"It is not necessary," replied Master Raymond joyfully, "I will not
compromise you any further. God forever bless your ladyship! There is
not another woman in New England with the spirit and courage to do what
you have done this day--and the reader of our history a hundred years to
come, as he reads this page, shall cry fervently, God bless the fearless
and generous soul of Lady Mary!"

"Let me know when you are safe," she whispered to the young man, as he
stood by her carriage. "Master and Mistress English are now the guests
of Governor Fletcher of New York--changing a Boston prison for a
Governor's mansion. You will be perfectly secure in that Province--or in
Pennsylvania, or Maryland or Virginia." And the carriage drove off.

It was in that early hour of the evening, when the streets in town and
city, are more deserted than they are for some hours afterwards;
everyone being indoors, and not come out for visiting or amusement. And
so the young man and his companion walked towards the north-eastern part
of the town, meeting only one or two persons, who took no special notice
of them.

"You do not ask where we are going, Dulcibel?" at last said Master
Raymond.

She could not see the sweet smile on his face; but she could feel it in
his voice.

"Anywhere, with you!" the maiden replied in a low tone.

"We are going to be married."

He felt the pressure of her hand upon his arm in response.

"That is, if we can find a minister to perform the ceremony."

"That will be difficult, I should think."

"Yes, difficult, but not impossible. After getting you out of prison, as
Lady Mary did, I should not like to call anything impossible."

"Lady Mary is an angel!"

"Yes, one of the kind with wings," replied her companion laughing. "She
has kindly loaned us her wings though--and we are flying away on them."

Before long they were at one of the wharves; then on a small boat--then
on the deck of the "Storm King."

"I am better than my word, Captain Tolley."

"Aye! indeed you are. And this is the birdie! Fair Mistress, the "Storm
King" and his brood are ready to die to shield you from harm."

Dulcibel looked wonder out of her clear blue eyes. What did it all mean?
She smiled at the Captain's devoted speech. "I do not want any one to
die for me, Captain. I would rather have you sing me a good sea-song,
such as my father, who was also a sea-captain, used to delight me with
at home."

"Oh, we can do that too," answered the Captain gaily. "I hope we shall
have a jolly time of it, before we reach our destination. Now, come down
into the cabin and see the preparations I have made for you; a sailor's
daughter must have the best of sailor's cheer."

"One word, Captain," said Master Raymond, as the Captain came up on deck
again, leaving Dulcibel to the privacy of her state-room. "It does not
seem fitting that a young unmarried woman should be alone on a vessel
like this, with no matron to bear her company."

"Sir!" said the Captain, "I would have you know that the maiden is as
safe from aught that could offend her modesty on the decks of the "Storm
King," as if she were in her father's house."

"Of course she is. I know that well--and mean not the least offense. And
she, innocent as she is, has no other thought. But this is a slanderous
world, Captain, and we men who know the world, must think for her."

"Oh, I admit that," said Captain Tolley, somewhat mollified, "we cannot
expect of mere land's people, who put an innocent girl like that into
prison for no offense, the gentle behavior towards women that comes
naturally from a seaman; but what do you propose?"

"To send for one of the Boston ministers, and marry her before we leave
port."

"Why, of course," replied the Captain. "It is the very thing. Whom shall
we send for? The North Church is nearest--how would Master Cotton Mather
do?"

The young man stood thoughtfully silent for a moment or two. The
ministers of South Church and of King's chapel were more heterodox in
all this witchcraft business; but for that very reason he did not wish
to compromise them in any way. Besides, he owed a grudge to Master
Mather, for his general course in sustaining the persecution, and his
recent language in particular towards himself. So his lips gradually
settled into a stern determination, and he replied "Master Mather is the
very man."

"It may require a little ingenuity to get him aboard at this time of the
evening," said the Captain. "But I reckon my first mate, Simmons, can do
it, if any one can."

"Here, Simmons," to the first mate, who was standing near, "you look
like a pillar of the church, go ashore and bring off Master Cotton
Mather with you. A wealthy young Englishman is dying--and he cannot pass
away from Boston in peace without his ministerial services."

"Dying?" ejaculated Master Raymond.

"Yes, dying! dying to get married--and you cannot pass out of Boston
harbor in peace, without his ministerial services."

"Would it not do as well to ask him to come and marry us?"

"I doubt it," replied the Captain. "Master Mather is honest in his
faith, even if he is bigoted and superstitious--and death cannot be put
off like marriage till tomorrow. But take your own course,
Simmons--only bring him."

"Shall I use force, sir, if he will not come peaceably?" asked the mate
coolly.

"Not if it will make a disturbance," said his commander. "We do not want
to run the gauntlet of the castle's guns as we go out of the harbor. The
wind is hardly lively enough for that."

"I will go down and tell Dulcibel," said Master Raymond. "It is rather
sudden, but she is a maiden of great good sense, and will see clearly
the necessity of the case. And as she is an orphan, she has no father or
mother whose consent she might consider necessary. But Mate"--going to
the side of the vessel, which the boat was just leaving, "not a word as
to my name or that of the maiden. That would spoil all."

"Aye, aye, sir! Trust me to bring him!" and the boat started for the
shore, under the vigorous strokes of two oarsmen.



CHAPTER LII.

An Unwilling Parson.


Not quite an hour had elapsed, when the sound of oars was again heard;
and Captain Tolley, peering through the dark, saw that another form was
seated opposite the mate in the stern-sheets of the boat.

"I thought that Simmons would bring him," said Captain Tolley to the
second mate; "such a smooth tongue as he has. It is a pity he wasn't a
minister himself--his genius is half wasted here."

"Glad to see you on board the Storm King, Master Mather," was the
greeting of the Captain, as the minister was helped up to the deck by
the mates.

"The Storm King! Why I was told that it was an English frigate, just
come into port," said the minister in a surprised voice.

"The messenger must have made a mistake," replied the Captain coolly.
"You know that landsmen always do get things mixed.

"Well, as I am here, no matter. Show me the dying man."

"Walk down into the cabin," said the Captain politely.

Entering the cabin which was well lighted, Master Raymond stepped
forward, "I am happy to see you, Master Mather. You remember me, do you
not?"

"Master Raymond, I believe," returned the minister coldly. "Where is the
dying man who requires my spiritual ministrations?"

"Dying!" laughed the Captain. "How strangely that fellow got things
mixed. I said dying to get married--did I not, Master Raymond?"

"Of course you did--that is, after you had explained yourself."

Master Mather's face looked blank, he did not know what to make of it.

"In truth, Master Mather," said the young Englishman, "I was under the
necessity of getting married this evening; and, thinking over the
worshipful ministers of Boston town, I singled you out as the one I
should prefer to officiate on the happy occasion."

"I decline to have anything to do with it," said Master Mather
indignantly, turning on his heel, and going to the door of the cabin.
But here a muscular sailor, with a boarding pike, promptly forbade his
passage by putting the pike across the door way.

"What do you mean by barring my way in this manner?" said the minister
in great wrath to the captain. "Have you no reverence for the law?"

"Not a particle for Boston law," replied Captain Tolley. "The only law
recognized on board the Storm King is the command of its Captain. You
have been brought here to marry these two young friends of mine; and you
will not leave the vessel before you do it--if I have to take you with
us all the way to China."

Master Mather pondered the matter for a moment. "This is too informal,
there are certain preliminaries that are necessary in such cases."

"Advisable--but I am told not absolutely necessary," replied Master
Raymond.

"Wait then for an hour or two; and we shall be on the high seas--and out
of any jurisdiction," added Captain Tolley.

"Who is this maiden? Who gives her away?" asked the minister.

"This maiden is Mistress Dulcibel Burton," said Master Raymond, taking
her by the hand.

"She is an orphan; but I give her away," added the Captain.

"Dulcibel Burton! the serpent witch!" exclaimed Master Mather. "What is
that convict doing here? Has she broken jail?"

"Master Mather," said the Captain in an excited tone, "if you utter
another word of insult against this innocent and beautiful maiden, I
will have you flung overboard to the sharks! So take care of what you
say!" and the indignant seaman shook his finger in the minister's face
warningly.

"Master Mather," added Raymond, more coolly, "Mistress Burton has not
broken jail. She was duly released from custody by Keeper Arnold on the
presentation of an official paper by Lady Mary Phips. Therefore your
conscience need not be uneasy on that score."

"Why are you here then--why making this haste? It is evident that there
is something wrong about it."

"Boston has not treated either of us so well that we are very desirous
of remaining," replied Master Raymond. "And as we are going together, it
is only decorous that we should get married. If you however refuse to
marry us, we shall be compelled to take you with us--for the mere
presence of such a respected minister will be sufficient to shield the
maiden's name from all reckless calumniators."

The second mate came to the door of the cabin. "Captain, there is a fine
breeze blowing, it is a pity not to use it."

"Make all ready, sir," replied the Captain. Then turning to the
minister, "There is no particular hurry, Master Mather. You can take the
night to think over it. To-morrow morning probably, if you come to your
senses, we may be able to send you ashore somewhere, between here and
the capes of the Delaware."

"This is outrageous!" said Master Mather. "I will hold both of you
accountable for it."

"It is a bad time to threaten, when your head is in the lion's mouth,
Master Mather," returned Captain Tolley fiercely. "No one knows but my
own men that you ever came on board the 'Storm King.' How do you know
that I am not Captain Kidd himself?"

The minister's face grew pale. It was no disparagement to his manhood.
Even Master Raymond's face grew very serious--for did even he know that
this Captain Tolley might not be the renowned freebooter, of whose many
acts of daring and violence the wide seas rang?

"I would counsel you for your own good to do at once what you will have
to do ultimately," said Master Raymond gravely. "I owe you no thanks for
anything; but"--and the young man laughed as he turned to Dulcibel--"I
never could trap even a fox without pitying the animal."

Dulcibel went up to the minister, and put her hand upon his arm:--"Do I
look so much like a witch?" she said in a playful tone.

"We are told that Satan can enrobe himself like an angel of light,"
replied Master Mather severely. "I judge you by what I have heard of
your cruel deeds."

"As you judged the cruel yellow bird that turned out to be only a
harmless little chicken," said Master Raymond sarcastically. "Enough of
this folly. Will you marry us now--or not? If you will, you shall be put
ashore unharmed. If you will not, you shall go along with us. Make up
your mind at once, for we shall soon be out of Boston harbor."

Master Mather had a strong will--and an equally strong won't--but the
Philistines were, for this time, too much for him. That reference to
Captain Kidd had frightened him badly. "Stand up--and I will marry you.
Unscrupulous as you both are, it is better that you should be married
by legal rites, than allowed to go your own way to destruction."

And then--the important ceremony being duly gone through--he pronounced
Master Ellis Raymond and Mistress Dulcibel Burton man and wife. The
Captain being allowed by Master Raymond to take the first kiss, as
acting in the place of the bride's father.

"No, not a penny!" said the minister, closing his hand against the
golden pieces that the groom held out to him. "All I ask is, that you
comply with your promise--and put me on shore again as soon as
possible."

"Better take a drink of wine first," said the Captain, filling up a
glass and handing it to him.

"I will neither break bread nor drink wine on this"--he was going to say
_accursed_ ship; but the fierce eyes of the possible freebooter were
upon him, and he said, "on this unhappy vessel."

Captain Tolley laughed heartily. "Oh well, good wine never goes begging.
The anchor is not up yet, and we will put you off just where you came
on. Come along!"

Without a word of leave-taking to the two whom he had joined together,
Master Mather followed the Captain. In fact though, Master Raymond and
Dulcibel scarcely noted his going, for they were now seated on a small
sofa, the arm of the young husband around the shapely waist of his
newly-made wife, and the minister dismissed from their minds as
completely as the wine-glass out of which they had just drank. He had
answered their purpose and in the deep bliss of their new relation, they
thought no more about him.

As Master Mather turned to descend to the boat again--not wasting any
formal words of leave-taking upon the Captain either--the latter grasped
him by the arm.

"Wait one moment," said Captain Tolley. "You will speak of what has
occurred here this evening Master Mather, or not, at your pleasure. But
be careful of what you say--for there is no power on this coast, strong
enough to protect you against my vengeance!" And with a scowl upon his
face, that would not have done injustice to the dreaded Captain Kidd
himself, he added in a hoarse, fierce tone the one impressive word
"Beware!"

The minister made no reply. It was a day of fierce men and wild
deeds--especially on the high seas. Prudence in some positions is far
better than valor.

"Now, my hearties! let us get out of this harbor as soon as possible!"
cried the Captain. "I might have held him till we were opposite the
castle, and put him ashore there; but it is safer as it is. We have a
regular clearance, and he cannot do anything legally under an hour or
two at least--while in half-an-hour we shall be outside. With a stiff
breeze like this, once on the open seas, I fear neither man nor devil!"



CHAPTER LIII.

The Wedding Trip and Where Then.


Whether Master Mather did make any serious effort to prevent the "Storm
King" from leaving the harbor, I am unable to say; but as I find no
reference to this affair either in his biography or his numerous works,
I am inclined to think that like a wise man, he held his peace as to
what had occurred, and resolved never to go on board another vessel
after nightfall.

Certainly no cannon ball cut the waves as the "Storm King" sailed
swiftly past the castle, and no signal was displayed signifying that she
must come at once to anchor.

And the little trip to New York was as pleasant in all respects as a
young couple on a bridal tour could desire--even if the mere relief from
the anxieties and threatened dangers of the previous long months had not
been of itself a cause of happiness.

Arrived at New York, Master Philip English and his wife received them
with open arms. Master Raymond had brought letters from England to
Governor Fletcher and others, and soon made warm friends among the very
best people. There was no sympathy whatever in New York at that time
with the witchcraft persecutions in Massachusetts; and all fugitives
were received, as in the case of the Englishes, with great sympathy and
kindness.

Much to my regret, at this point, the old manuscript book to which I
have been so largely indebted, suddenly closes its record of the
fortunes of Master and Mistress Raymond. Whether they went to England,
and took up their residence there among Master Raymond's friends, or
found a home in this new world, I am therefore not able with absolute
certainty to say. From what I have been able, however, to gather from
other quarters, I have come to the conclusion that they were so much
pleased with their reception in New York, that Master Raymond purchased
an estate on the east side of the Hudson River, where he and the
charming Dulcibel lived and loved to a good old age, leaving three sons
and three daughters. If this couple really were our hero and heroine,
then the Raymonds became connected, through the three daughters, with
the Smiths, the Joneses and the Browns. In one way, perhaps, the
question might be set at rest, were it not too delicate a one for
successful handling. There is little doubt that among the descendants of
Mistress Dulcibel, on the female side, the birth-mark of the serpent,
more or less distinct, will be found occasionally occurring, even now,
at the lapse of almost two centuries. Therefore, if among the secret
traditions of any of the families I have mentioned, there be one
relative to this curious birth-mark, doubtless that would be sufficient
proof that in their veins runs the rich blood of the charming Dulcibel
Raymond.



CHAPTER LIV.

Some Concluding Remarks.


Perhaps before I conclude I should state that the keeper of the Boston
Bridewell, Master Arnold, was summarily dismissed for accepting the
validity of the Governor's signature. But he did not take it very
grievously to heart for Master Raymond, Captain Alden and others whom he
had obliged saw him largely recompensed. Captain Alden, by the way, had
fled for concealment to his relatives in Duxbury. Being asked when he
appeared there, "Where he came from?" the old captain said "he was
fleeing from the devil--who was still after him." However his relatives
managed to keep him safely, until all danger was passed, both from the
devil and from his imps.

As for Lady Mary, the indignation of "the faithful" was hot against
her--and finally against Sir William, who could not be made to see in it
anything but a very good joke. "You know that Lady Mary will have her
own way," he said to Master Mather.

"Wives should be kept in due gospel subjection!" returned the minister.

"Oh, yes, rejoined the Governor smiling; but I wish you had a wife like
Lady Mary, and would try it on her! I think we should hear something
breaking."

But when Mistress Ann Putnam and others began "to cry out" against Lady
Mary as a witch, the Governor waxed angry in his turn.

"It is time to put a stop to all this," he said indignantly. "They will
denounce me as a witch next." So he issued a general pardon and jail
delivery--alike to the ten persons who were then under sentence of
death, to those who had escaped from prison, and to the one hundred and
fifty lying in different jails, and the two hundred others who had been
denounced for prosecution.

It was a fair blow, delivered at the very front and forehead of the
cruel persecution and it did its good work, though it lost Sir William
his position--sending him back to England to answer the charges of his
enemies, and to die there soon afterwards in his forty-fifth year.

When Chief-Justice Stoughton, engaged in fresh trials against the
reputed witches, read the Governor's proclamation of Pardon, he was so
indignant that he left his seat on the bench, and could not be prevailed
upon to return to it.

Neither could he, to the day of his death, be brought to see that he had
done anything else than what was right in the whole matter.

Not so the jury--which, several years after, confessed its great
mistake, and publicly asked forgiveness. Nor Judge Sewall, who rose
openly in church, and confessed his fault, and afterward kept one of the
days of execution, with every returning year, sacred to repentance and
prayer--seeing no person from sunrise to nightfall, mourning in the
privacy of his own room the sin he had committed.

Mistress Ann Putnam and her husband both died within the seven years, as
Dulcibel in her moment of spiritual exaltation had predicted. Her
daughter Ann lived to make a public confession, asking pardon of those
whom she had (she said unintentionally) injured, and died at the age of
thirty-five--her grave being one that nobody wanted their loved ones to
lie next to.

As for the majority of the "afflicted circle," they fell as the years
went on into various evil ways--one authority describing them as
"abandoned to open and shameless vice."

Master Philip English, after the issue of the Governor's pardon,
returned to Salem. Seventeen years afterwards, he was still trying to
recover his property from the officials of the Province. Of £1500
seized, he never recovered more than £300; while his wife died in two
years, at the age of forty-two, in consequence of the treatment to which
she had been subjected.

Master Joseph Putnam and his fair Elizabeth lived on in peace at the old
place; taking into his service the Quaker Antipas upon his release from
prison. The latter was always quiet and peaceful, save when any allusion
was made to the witches. But he had easy service and good treatment; and
was a great favorite with the children, especially with that image of
his father, who afterwards became distinguished as the Major General
Putnam of Revolutionary fame.

As for the presents that had been promised to the "afflicted circle,"
they came to them duly, and from London too. And they were rich gifts
also; but such a collection of odd and grotesque articles, certainly are
not often got together. Master Raymond had commissioned an eccentric
friend of his in London to purchase them, and send them on; acquainting
him with the peculiar circumstances. There were yellow birds, and red
dragons, and other fantastic animals, birds and beasts. But they came
from London and the "circle" found them just suited to their peculiar
tastes; and they always maintained, even in defiance of Mistress Ann,
that Master Raymond was a lovely gentleman and an "afflicted" person
himself. It will thus be seen that these Salem maidens were in their day
truly esthetic--having that sympathetic fondness for unlovely and
repulsive things, which is the unerring indication of a daughter of
Lilith.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, in conclusion, some one may ask, "Did the Province of
Massachusetts ever make any suitable atonement for the great wrongs her
Courts of Injustice had committed?" I answer Never! Massachusetts has
never made any, adequate atonement--no, not to this day!

The General Assembly, eighteen years afterwards, did indeed pass an act
reversing the convictions and attainders in all but six of the cases;
and ordering the distribution of the paltry sum of £578 among the heirs
of twenty-four persons, as a kind of compensation to the families of
those who had suffered; but this was all--nothing, or next to nothing!

Perhaps the day will some time come, when the cry of innocent blood from
the rocky platform of Witch Hill, shall swell into sufficient volume to
be heard across the chasm of two centuries. Then, on some high pedestal,
where the world can see it, Massachusetts shall proclaim in enduring
marble her penitence and ask a late forgiveness of the twenty innocent
men and women whom she so terribly wronged. And as all around, and even
the mariner far out at sea, shall behold the gleaming shaft, standing
where stood the rude gallows of two centuries ago, they shall say with
softening eyes and glowing cheeks: "It is never too late to right a
great wrong; and Massachusetts now makes all the expiation that is
possible to those whom her deluded forefathers dishonored and persecuted
and slew!"



_By the Author of Dulcibel_

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