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any impression one chooses to put on it. A child can be made to believe it sees the most unnatural things, and in a few days Tituba and John had thoroughly convinced the children that they saw spirits and witches in the air all about them.
One evening, a pretty young woman, not over twenty-one or two, came to the parsonage, where the witches and ghosts had been holding high revel. She was a brunette with a dark keen eye and hair of jet. Her face was lovely, save when distorted by passion, and her form was faultless.
“Sarah Williams, where have you been, that we have seen nothing of you for a fortnight?” asked Mrs. Parris as the visitor entered the house.
“I have been to Boston, and but just came back yesterday. What strange things have been transpiring since I left?”
At this moment a door opened and Mr. Parris, a tall, pale man, entered from his study. The newcomer, without waiting for the pastor's wife to answer her question, rose and, grasping the hand of her spiritual adviser, cried:
“Mr. Parris, how pale you are! but then I cannot wonder at it, when I consider all I have heard."
“What have you heard, Sarah?” he asked.
“I have heard you are having trouble in your congregation."
" Who told you?”
« The rumor has gone all over the country, even reaching Boston. And they do say that the evil spirits have visited Salem to defame you."
Mr. Parris pressed his thin lips so firmly that the blood seemed to have utterly forsaken them, and his cold gray eye was kindled with a subdued fire, as he answered:
“I am far from insensible that at this extraordinary time of the devil coming down in great wrath upon us, there are too many tongues and hearts thereby set on fire of hell.”
“To whom can you trace your troubles ?"
“To Goodwife Nurse,” answered the pastor. “It is that firebrand of hell who seeks to ruin me.”
“I saw Goody Nurse,” cried one of the smaller children.
“ When?" asked Mr. Parris. “Last night.”
The pastor, the visitor, and the wife exchanged significant glances, and the father asked:
“Where did you see her?”
bed." “What did she do?” “She asked me to sign the book.” " What book?" “I don't know; but it was a red book."
The anxious mother, in a fit of hysterics, seized her child in her arms and cried:
“No, no, no! don't you sign the book and sell your immortal soul, child!” and she gave way to a fit of weeping, which unnerved all the children, who began to howl, as if they were beset by demons. When the hubbub was at its height, the door to an adjoining room opened, and Tituba and John stuck their heads into the room.
She am dar! she am dar!” cried old Tituba. “I see her! I see dem bofe!”
“Yes, I see um—see um bofe, Tituba,” repeated John.
“Who do you see?” asked the pastor.
They pointed along the floor, then up the wall to the ceiling, where they both avowed that they saw Goodwife Nurse and the black man, or demon, dancing with their heels up and heads down.
The negro clapped his hands, patted his foot on the floor and cried aloud:
“Doan yer see um, Marster? doan yer see um, chillun?"
One little girl, who fixed her eyes on a certain dark corner of the room, thought she could see a shadow moving on the wall, but was not quite certain. The pastor was overcome by the presence of the prince of darkness in his own house, and, fall
ing on his knees, began to pray. As a natural result, when all minds were directed to one channel, as they were by prayer, the superstitious feeling which possessed them passed away, and the household, which a few moments ago was on the verge of hysteria, became more calm, and when all rose from their knees, Mrs. Parris asked her visitor to spend the evening with them.
“I fain would stay; but I dread the long walk home."
“Samuel will accompany you, unless Charles Stevens comes, as he promised. In case he should, he can go with you."
At the mention of Charles Stevens, the young woman's eyes grew brighter, and her face became crimson.
“Sarah, have you not heard from your husband ?” asked the minister. “No; he is dead." “Did you never hear of the pinnace ?” “No; but it was no doubt lost." “How long since he left?” "A year.
He went to New York, was seen to leave that port, and has never been heard from.”
“It is sad."
“Verily, it is,” and Sarah tried hard to call up a tear, and wiped her eyes with the corner of her apron.
John and Tituba had retired to their domain, the kitchen, to conjure up more demons and plan further mischief.
Mr. Parris could not keep his mind long from the rebellious members of his flock. “I will be avenged on them,” he thought. “Verily, I will be avenged for every pang they have made me suffer."
He had forgotten the command, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.”
Sarah Williams proceeded to further delve into the trouble with Mr. Parris and his church.
“Is Rebecca Nurse your enemy?” she asked.
Verily, she is; so is her sister Goodwife Corey." “Why are they your enemies?”
They want another pastor, and have done all in their power to ruin me."
“Why do you endure it?” asked Sarah.
“How can I help myself? I retain my charge and shall retain it, despite Goody Nurse.'
At this the youngest child said:
“Goody Nurse was at church last Lord's day with a yellow bird.”
“A yellow bird?” cried all.
“Yes; I saw a yellow bird fly into the church and light on her shoulder.”
Tituba had told the poor deluded child that if