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Waters walked slowly, carefully, and silently. The Indians slept. When they were some distance from the camp, Martin, entertaining but one idea of Waters' plan, said:
“You have gone far enough with me. Stop right here and have it over with. I shall make no outcry.”
“Joel Martin, you are a brave man, I know,began Mr. Waters; but Martin again interrupted him with:
“I shall make no outcry. You have a knife in your belt. Stab
Stab me, and be done with it." “I shall not.” “Where are you going to take me?” “To my horse."
Martin grumbled at the useless delay, but suffered himself to be carried to the horse.
you ride?” Waters asked. “Yes."
“I will help you to the saddle, and, if you think there is danger of your falling, I can tie you."
He assisted the wounded man into the saddle and took the rein in his hand, saying, “Hold, and I will lead."
“George Waters, where are you going with me?" “To Virginia.” “Can it be that you intend to spare my life?" “I have no occasion to take it."
The crestfallen Virginian said no more.
All night long they journeyed through the forests and across plains. At dawn of day they were among the mountains. They rested and George Waters kept watch over the wounded man while he slept.
By the middle of the afternoon, they were on the march again. Mr. Martin's wounds were inflamed and sore, and he was in a fever. Next day they reached the village of some friendly Indians, and remained there two weeks, until the wounded man was able to proceed. George Waters went with him until they were in sight of a village on the upper James River.
“I can go no further, Mr. Martin,” said George Waters.
“I understand,” he returned, dismounting from the saddle.
your way to those houses ?”
George Waters cut two stout sticks with forks to place under his arms as crutches. Martin watched his acts of kindness, while a softer expression came over his face. He was about to go away, but turned about and, seizing Waters by the hand, cried:
“God bless you!
You are a man!” Not willing to risk himself further he turned away, and George Waters re-entered the forest. He reached Boston early in 1692, just after the acquittal of his brother and others of the charge of witchcraft.
Everybody realizing that the madness had run its course, Charles Stevens and his mother went back to their home at Salem, confident that they need fear
more persecutions from Parris, whose power was gone.
Next day after his arrival, while going down a lone. ly path near the village Charles suddenly came upon Sarah Williams. Her eyes were blaz- GEORGE WATERS CUT TWO STOUT STICKS ing with the fires of hope, fanaticism and disappointed pride.
“Charles! Charles!” she cried. “Nay, do not turn away from me, for, as Heaven is my witness, I did not have your mother cried out upon!”
“Sarah Williams, I am as willing as any to forget the past, or, if remember it I must, only think
of it as a hideous nightmare from which, thanks to Providence, we have escaped forever.”
Charles, let us be friends."
* Far be it from me to be your enemy, Sarah Williams."
“Can you not be more, Charles?” said the handsome widow, her dark eyes on the ground, while her cheek became suffused with a blush.
“What mean you, Sarah Williams?”
“I do not. You told me you did in the presence of Abigail Williams. At the same time
you confessed to killing Samuel Williams in order to wed me.”
Charles Stevens was thunderstruck, and could only gaze in amazement on the bold, unscrupulous woman, who had trained under Parris, until she was capable of almost any deception to carry her point.
“Sarah Williams, what you say is a lie!” he declared, in a voice hoarse with amazement and indignation.
“We shall see! We shall see!" she answered, in a hoarse, shrill voice.
“I will prove it. See, I will prove it and hang you yet. Beware! I do not charge you with witchcraft, but with murder.
Either take the place you made vacant by the death of Samuel Williams, or hang!”
As least of the two evils, Charles Stevens intimated he preferred to hang, and, turning abruptly about, he left her. Next day he was met by Bly and Louder in the village, who interrogated him on his recent trouble with Sarah Williams about the dead husband. Knowing both to be outrageous liars, and unscrupulous as they were bold, he sought to avoid them; but they followed him everywhere and interrogated him, until he was utterly disgusted and finally broke away and went home.
Charles Stevens did not tell his mother of the threat of Sarah Williams, for he considered it too absurd to notice. Three or four days later, when he had almost ceased to think of the matter, he and his mother were startled from their suppler, by hearing a loud knock at the front door.
“Sit you still, Charles, and I will go and see who this late visitor is."
She rose and went to the door and opened it. Three or four dark forms stood without. “Is Charles Stevens in ?" asked one. "Yes, sir." “I want to see him." “Who are you?” “Don't you know me, Hattie Stevens? I am