Fall From Grace – Chapter 9

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I have been working slowly but surely on Fall From Grace. The amount of research that I have already put into this is staggering – and to think, I’m still not done. One thing I have found is a new sympathy for the Puritans.

Other things I have noticed are the severe inaccuracies that we are taught in school. There are quite a few of those. A fascinating fact is that  the colonies were known as the land that spawned grandparents. Less industry in the so-called new world meant people could live longer and for the first time, parents were seeing their grandchildren being born.

Another fact is that contrary to popular belief, Puritans married for love. The median male age for marriage was 26, while the females tended to marry at 23.

Before I continue on the amazing and wondrous facts that I have learned, I give you Chapter 9 in Fall From Grace.

As always feel free to share your thoughts and Happy Reading!

The three prisoners stayed up well into the night as there was no way for them to get comfortable. The full moon lit up the little cell illuminating the haggard looking prisoners.

Though thunder rolled through the sky promising to let loose a downpour that could flood the crops – and their cell, there wasn’t a cloud in sight.

“What happened to Mrs. Good,” Grace whispered.

“She was sent to Ipswich Jail on account of her being with child. They’ll probably try to charge her newborn with witchcraft as well. Lord above knows that they charged her four-year-old with it,” Mrs. Osbourne bitterly informed.

Grace sighed and managed to look angry rather humiliated. With her neck bent, the moonlight made the lice in her hair sparkle and crawl at the same time. “They’re charging children,” Grace exclaimed in horror.

“That has been our way since the beginning. You know well how children are expected to act, Grace,” Mrs. Osbourne sternly reminded.

“I realize they are held to adult standards but, at four a child’s mind is filled with whimsy and imagination. Young Dorothy Good wouldn’t be able to speak intelligently enough to answer the interrogators,” Grace confirmed with muffled tones.

“What they’re doing’s not right, Miss Grace. They even sent Miss Dorothy to Ipswich with her mother,” Tituba whispered.

“Why do they have the right to hold a child in shackles,” Grace asked plaintively.

“Those are the rules. Besides, she claimed that a snake spoke to her,” Mrs. Osbourne insisted.

“Rules or not, they aren’t right. A talking snake is nothing more than her own imagination. There aren’t many ways for a girl to occupy her time. It’s not like we could go out and learn a trade,” Grace insisted with her bent head.

“We shouldn’t be here accused of crimes that weren’t committed, Grace,” Mrs. Osbourne stated to a flash of lightning and roll of thunder.

Rain poured from the sky in bucket loads obscuring the once bright moon. The fire in the hearth across on the other side of the jail did nothing to warm the cell as rain leaked through the window above them.

***

The mid-day sun was turning the cell into a sauna. Bodily waste baked in the scorching heat of the sun. Water from last night’s down pour had long since evaporated. An incessant clanking of metal on metal reverberated around the room.

It wasn’t long before long the clanking stopped and the women gave a sigh of relief as their shoulders sagged. Their semi-relaxed air was not to last as stomping feet made their way closer to the cell.

The women gazed at the cell bars from the floor. Tattered and stained clothes only enhanced the bruises and lacerations that adorned their faces. A short, thin man stopped in front of the cell. The thick blue haze of tobacco smoke that surrounded the man smelt vaguely nutty.

His leather boots were worn in such a way to blend in with the drab wooden floor. He was bald except for a white ring of hair around the base of his skull. He looked upon the prisoners with enough disgust to wither a crop field. He shook his head and sharply stated,

“I hadn’t thought to believe that the daughter of a baker would stoop so low as to sell her soul to the devil’s fiery furnace.”

Grace tried to look up to glare at the man only to find herself staring at her soiled skirt. “I will tell you like I have told the interrogators, Grandfather. I am no witch; nor would God allow me to sign the Devil’s Book,” Grace snapped.

“I told your mother she was marrying the wrong man. She was of age and wouldn’t listen to me though. She could have had a wealthier suitor and more comfortable life, but she chose your father. Now look what she has to deal with. A daughter that would dare go against all that is holy,” Grandfather spat.

“At least she has love. Unlike you she didn’t dishonor herself and God,” Grace venomously spat back.

“Instead, she gets a daughter whose neck won’t bend from stubborn pride,” he shot back.

“I am not guilty of turning my back to God. If my faith costs me my life, than so be it; but I’ll not confess to something that I didn’t do,” Grace forcefully stated.

“And break your mother’s heart while your at it, no doubt,” Grandfather sneered.

“Man breaks my mother’s heart for bearing false witness,” Grace snapped from her bound position.

“You are naught to my family. The next time I will see you is the day you swing on Gallows Hill for your treachery,” Grandfather fumed as he stormed away from the cell.
Grace took a calming breath as her grandfather arrogantly strode away from the cell and implored, “Pardon the disgraceful scene, ladies; unfortunately, grandfather has always been a bitter man.”

“I’m no lady Miss Grace, but to me that sounds like ones dirty laundry blowing in the breeze – and were always taught that God frowns on that,” Tituba said dismissing Grace’s apology.

“Bah, child. No need to apologize for someone else,” Mrs. Osbourne firmly informed as she began to cough.

Tituba tried to reach around Grace to comfort Mrs. Osbourne as hacking coughs racked her body. The only comfort that she could give was to hold the older woman’s hand.

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Fall From Grace – Chapter 7

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After fixing my computer I have been on something of a roll with my writing. Between writing an honest to goodness ghost story and working on Fall From Grace, I haven’t been short of  ideas.The question I have for you all though, is will Grace stoutly stand against those that would do her harm.

Without further ado, I give you Fall From Grace – Chapter 7.

 

Cold, wet stone dug into Grace’s back as she let out a nauseous moan. Her stomach churned as the scent of stale urine and rank feces permeated her nose. Every muscle screamed in stiff agony as her senses slowly returned. She tried to raise a cold hand to her face only to find that her hands were restrained next to her head. Her butt was numb and water came halfway up her hips as she languished in the dark puddle on the ground. She squinted as she tried to look up, only to find that her head could not rise more than half an inch. On one side of her Grace felt the rough stone cutting into cold skin; and the other a warm presence.

“Careful Miss Grace. The priest didn’t like what you told them and had you locked in the pillory,” Tituba thickly whispered. The swelling Grace had last seen was gone, though she was still covered with fading bruises.

“To be punished for avowing innocence is a crime frowned upon by God,” Grace whispered hoarsely through cracked lips.

“I fear our captors have little belief in innocence; and I don’t think they have the respect for God they should,” Tituba replied.

“Where are the others?”

“Mrs. Good and Mrs. Osbourne have been taken to the interrogators over at Ingersoll’s Tavern. That was early this morning, Miss. It’s nearing supper time now, I’ve not heard a souls whisper in hours so I’m not thinking supper’s gonna be arriving anytime soon.

“More have been accused since they questioned you,” Tituba fearfully blurted out.

“Who?”

“At least half a dozen in the last four days, Miss Grace. The affliction’s spreading and they say other children are doing the accusing now.”

“None in the community would dare turn their backs to God,” Grace insisted from her bowed position. The silence of the empty cell echoed around her voice.

“That’s not the rumors that are going around Miss Grace. People are saying it’s been awfully cold of late and that God was sending the cold as a way to punish sinners; rumor has it even the pastor thinks God is punishing him,” Tituba plaintively whispered.

“Hush now Tituba. There are always those who wish to call trouble upon others. As for our current situation we can only hope that mortal man can see what God clearly knows,” Grace tiredly informed as her chin hit the board.

“What if that’s not enough,” Tituba worried.

The only answer that Tituba received were the watery breaths that escaped Grace’s now bruised and sleeping form.

 

***

 

Grace jumped awake as a sharp sting struck her foot and thunder rumbled outside. The pillory didn’t allow her to raise her head as another sting raced through her foot. The sturdy leather shoes on her feet were not enough to numb yet another sting.

A flash of lightning silhouetted the narrow legs of a man in dark breeches his white stockings gave the man a supernatural appearance in the eery light. This time the sharp snap of a whip accompanied the sting on her feet. A quick glance around told Grace she was alone in the cell.

“Ow,” Grace whimpered as another lash struck her feet.

“Who else signed the Devil’s Book,” the male voice harshly snarled.
Though she could not raise her head Grace refused to sit there in shame. She may have been forced into the pillory, but the reason behind it was no fault of hers. She squared her shoulders as best she could before answering with a bowed head, “I, nor anyone else, have signed NO book.”

The darkened figure seemed to erupt in rage as he swung the whip once more. This time the leather cut into the soles of her sturdy shoes. Grace flinched in her seat and knocked her head against the pillory as fresh pain racked her foot.
A rolling crack of thunder covered Grace’s whimpers of pain.

“Name your conspirators,” he commanded.

A tear fell down Grace’s mud caked face as she gasped for air. As she was about to respond her mud encrusted face turned as pale as the moon. With no other warning, she spewed the bile in her stomach all over her urine soaked skirt.

As the bile was dripping from her mouth Grace spat, “The only crime being committed here is the disgrace that you are showing to women.”

“You lost any protections that your sex demands when you signed the Devil’s Book,” the man coldly informed.

“I signed no such book,” Grace stubbornly insisted.

Even though it was dark in the cell Grace could tell the man was shaking in rage. “Your protestations of innocence will do you no good. The children have seen you,” the man snarled as he cracked his whip once more.

This time, the man didn’t give Grace a chance to claim innocence. He continued to snap his whip delivering lancing sting after cutting lash to the bottom of her feet. Grace’s wails of pain were drowned in the downpour of rain outside her cell.

Fall From Grace – Chapter 4

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As you know my current project is Fall From Grace. The synopsis of this work in progress (WIP) is:

In a community where God’s path is the single, most important part of your life, witchcraft is the foulest sin imaginable.

On the eve of her betrothal, Grace Bacon stands accused of this horrendous crime. Will she be able to withstand the harsh conditions that the Salem Jail and Dungeon contain? Will anyone believe that she didn’t commit the dreadful acts she stands accused? Will she be able to hold onto to her faith?

 

Without further ado I give you chapter  4 of Fall From Grace. As always feel free to tell me what you think of the current book I am working on!

Happy reading!

The sun was shining through the narrow windows of the jail providing thin slits of illumination to the prisoners. The four women sat on the muddy floor. Grace was between Mrs. Good and Mrs. Osbourne while Tituba sat on the end.

 
Tituba’s dark head was resting on the stone wall as hinges creaked. The grating sound roused the four from their restless thoughts. Bumping into each other they rose. As they stood in a row Mrs. Osbourne rested a cold and trembling hand on Grace’s back.

 
“Remember, Miss Bacon, mortal man and his laws are still judged by God,” Mrs. Osbourne soothingly whispered.

 
A dimple fleetingly appeared on Grace’s face as she nodded confirmation to Mrs. Osbourne. “And a man who cares little for God will never find favor in his hallowed halls,” Grace whispered back.

 
“If you two will quit your yammering prayers we have a more severe problem. I don’t think these men care what God would want. Tis more like they would rather partake in earthly pleasures,” Mrs. Good snapped.

 
“Intoning the Will of God allows us to keep our necks from getting stretched,” Mrs. Osbourne shot back snarkily.

 
Grace took a deep breath and implored, “Ladies, have some dignity if you please. We will face our accusers with the grace God gave us at birth,” she finished sternly.
A light clapping could be heard from the approaching figures before a male voice complimented, “Well done, Grace.”

 
A worn book was secured under one arm.

 
A grin bloomed on Graces face as she exclaimed, “Abraham! What are you doing here?”

 
“Trying to see you,” Abraham answered as he approached the cell. When Abraham stepped close to the cell his eyes flared in anger as his hands reached through the doors. He gently reached for Grace’s face only to have her flinch.

 
“Who would dare,” Abraham quietly thundered.

 
Grace shuddered at the anger in Abraham’s voice. “Worry not Abraham. Bruises fade with God’s grace,” Grace comforted.

 
“No Grace. Do not give forgiveness for those that would dare harm a woman. They are the ones that have no grace,” Abraham instructed. Abraham took a deep breath to control his rage before continuing, “Father told me you were charged with witchcraft. With your faith, I cannot believe such a thing possible,” Abraham insisted.

 
Grace shook her head and whispered, “I have not done this Abraham, my soul has always belonged to God. ‘Tis a mistake made of Miss Betty and Miss Abigail.”

 
“How do children come into this,” Abraham asked in confusion.

 
Grace looked to Tituba only to see the woman swaying on her feet. “Mrs. Good. She is going to fall,” Grace quietly exclaimed. Unfortunately, the warning was too late. Before Mrs. Good could steady Tituba, the bruised woman fell backwards.

 
As Tituba fell the arms of the other women flailed out in a desperate attempt to keep themselves upright. As they toppled the women landed one on top of the other.
Tituba’s pained moans were heard from the bottom of the pile. The women carefully and quickly pulled apart. Upon seeing this Abraham practically shouted, “Together!”
“Tis alright, Abraham. Anger will not serve us here. At least we are still alive,” Grace reasoned.

 
“This is inhumane. One man should not be chained to another; ‘tis not God’s will,” Abraham ardently insisted.

 
“There is not much to be done for it Abraham. Man writes the rules at the moment. We can only trust that God has chosen the right man for the times,” Grace patiently explained.

 
“How are you accepting of this degradation?”

 
“I know I am innocent,” Grace simply replied.

 
Abraham shook his head as he looked down at his sister. “I know that as well. Sadly, that does not explain the situation.”

 
“As I said earlier, Miss Betty and Miss Abigail have a part in this. As you know they have been frightfully ill of late. At any rate, a pastor from the village came to take a look at them.

 
“The girls were asked who caused them such an illness and they claimed bewitchment by Tituba.

 
“She apparently tried to tell Reverend Parris that I would vouch her godliness and I ended up here,” Grace quickly explained.

 
“Showing a kindness is what ended you up here,” Abraham asked incredulously.

 
Grace nodded her head as a tear escaped her eyes. “I’ll try speaking with Father again. He adamantly refuses to discuss the matter. I found out through Nazareth what happened. It’s throughout the entire Towne what happened.

 
“I’m afraid that Mr. Millson has informed Father that a Courtship is now out of the question,” Abraham regrettably informed his sister.

 
“Abraham, I swear this to you. I am not guilty of witchcraft,” Grace insisted as tears leaked from her eyes.

 
“I know little sister,” Abraham whispered as he grabbed the book from under his arm. He leaned into the cell to better reach his sister. The book bridged the gap between the two for a short moment.

 
“I know you well Grace. May you find some comfort in these pages while I attempt to convince Father that his only daughter would never turn from God,” Abraham assured.
Grace took the book handed to her and smiled as she read the cover – Holy Bible. Grace’s trembling hand reached out to accept the gift from her brother. “I believe you sister, of that have no doubt.

 
“Until then stay strong for us all.”

 
“Abraham, this means more to me than you could know.”

 
“No Grace. The love I have for you mirrors the love God has for all his children. If I can help you in anyway, I will. Hope sends her love as well,” Abraham informed.

 
Grace bowed her head from where she sat. Just knowing that someone believed her was enough to give Grace the strength to see this through.

Fall From Grace – Ch 2

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Here I present to you the rough draft of Chapter 2 in Fall From Grace. What do you think? As always enjoy and Happy Reading!

A dying fire kept the little apartment above the bakery warm. The sturdy table had an oil lamp in the middle of it. A half full pitcher of beer sat next to the lamp. Bowls of half-eaten stew surrounded the table. A partially sliced loaf of bread glowed in lamp light.

 
Grace, her parents, and younger brother Nazareth, sat around the table. “Grace, Mother has agreed to take your place at the bakery tomorrow after church,” her father declared.

 
“Surely there is no need Father. The bakery on a Saturday is a slow enough day to work,” Grace stated.

 
“Any other Saturday and I would agree with you Grace. However young Mr. Millson has asked to Court you. I feel that if you were to spend time with him at the Commons it might be possible for you to love him. If you are amenable that is,” Grace’s father finished with a slow smile.

 
Grace smiled brightly at her father before chirpily replying, “If God wills it than that would be a most welcome outcome.”

 
“Then I shall tell Mr. Millson that you would be glad to spend the afternoon with him under the watchful eye of Reverend Parris,” her father informed.

 
Grace turned to face her mother and gratefully expressed, “Mother, I thank you for this joyous opportunity.”

 
“Thank me not Grace. Thank the Lord for he would see us all happy,” her mother finished serenely as a loud rapping sounded at the door.

 
“Who would be calling at this hour that the Lord reserves for family,” Father asked as he rose to answer the door.

 
Grace and her mother shared a look of concern as father crossed the little room.
“Mother, why would people call in the evening when the Lord says that this is family time,” Nazareth curiously asked from his seat.

 
“I don’t know my son,” Mother answered calmly.

 
While Father was at the door the small family sat and waited with almost baited breath. Callers in the evening were unheard of, most people needed their rest for morning. Church and work were all important to the people of town.

 
Before another word could be said the family heard father exclaim, “There must be some mistake! God would not allow this to happen!”

 
A deep rumbling could be heard as father was seen to bow his head in submission. Father stepped to the side admitting a stocky man who had dried stains on his breeches and iron manacles in his hands.

 
The man walked over to the table and roughly grabbed Grace by the shoulder before stating, “Grace Bacon, you are hereby charged with the treasonous crime of witchcraft.”
As the man finalized his statement he roughly pulled Grace from her chair and placed a set of heavy iron manacles around her wrists.

 
Grace looked around the room in horror before pleading, “Father, I swear with God as my witness I have had no dealings with the devil!”

 
As the man was pulling her from the room Mother was crying while Nazareth sat there with his jaw dropped. Father hung his head in shame as he replied, “We raised you with God, Grace. How you could have dealings with such a creature as the devil is beyond my mortal soul,” Father told her scornfully.

 
“Father, as God as my witness, I did not do this,” Grace pleaded once more as she was forcefully drug out into the chilly night air. She could hear her mother’s tears as the door slammed shut.

 
The sheriff practically shoved her down the stairs, causing Grace to stumble into a bare, waiting wagon. He then climbed in behind Grace and shackled her next to the other women in the wagon.

 
Grace found herself seated next to two other women. Both of which were older than she was by a fair few decades. On one side of the wagon sat a pregnant and bitter looking Mrs. Good; the opposite held pale Mrs. Osbourne. Both women had tears staining their confusion etched faces. Once the shackles were tightened the Sheriff jumped out of the wagon and headed to the front. Within moments he was driving the cold, wooden wagon to the north side of town.

 
As the wagon started to move, Grace gingerly sat next to Mrs. Good. The woman was muttering harshly under her breath causing Grace to wrap her arms around herself. Bowing her head, Grace closed her eyes and began to silently recite psalms from the bible she had read since childhood.

 
As the wagon bounced along the bumpy road, Grace hit her head on the covered back causing her to cry out in pain more than once. Before Grace knew what was happening the wagon came to a halt.

 
Two burly men in dark clothes rushed into the back of the wagon and loosened their shackles. One of them furiously spat, “Out you foul creatures!” The dark tone in which they were ordered saw all three women to flinch in their seats.

 
Rough hands grabbed Grace by the shoulders and shoved her out of the wagon, causing her to land on her knees. As tears leaked out of Grace’s eyes, she cried out, “Ow!”

 
“You’ll get no pity from me, witch,” one of the men spat scornfully.

 
As tears streamed down her face, Grace looked from where she had fallen and stated, “I am no more a witch than your own mother is.”

 
The guard turned an angry red as he towered over her. As the guard yanked on Grace’s arm, she cried out once more.

 
“My mother walks with God,” he snarled as spittle came flying out of his mouth.
“She would be ashamed to know that you are treating a woman of God in this manner,” Grace argued back as she tried to free her arm from the guard’s tight grip.

 
“A witch has no place at God’s table,” the Guard spat in her face.

 
Grace opened her mouth to retort only to be feel a sharp pain where the guards hand struck her face. Standing in shock Grace felt a gentle hand on the small of her back. “It’s not worth it at the moment girl.

 
“If these people want the devil to confuse them, they are more Godless than those they accuse,” Sarah Good whispered.

 
Grace flinched at the often sour woman’s voice, but did as advised.

Cover Concept Fall From Grace

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I’ve been working on a new book set during the Salem Witch Trials. This book stars Grace Bacon as the protagonist. The following is a brief summary for this upcoming trial of tragedies.

Grace Bacon is a baker’s daughter in Salem Massachusetts, 1692. She devoutly holds the beliefs of the Puritans in her heart. God and his plant are the only way for her.

After finding out that Mr. Millson has asked permission to court her Grace is on top of the world. Until the unthinkable happens and she is accused of the vilest of sins – witchcraft. To her utter horror Grace is arrested and thrown into Salem Dungeon and Jail awaiting interrogation and trial.

Will the atrocities that she is subjugated to break her faith or will Grace rise ever stronger. Will the suspicious minds of mortal man manage to take the breath from her body or will the Grace see her through?

Next up we have a concept cover for this intriguing tale of faith and horror.

Fall From Grace Cover 1

And finally for your reading enjoyment we have the first chapter to Fall From Grace. I hope you enjoy this peak into the inner mind of Grace Bacon, a devout believer of the way she was raised. This young woman is the person who will never renounce her faith.

HAPPY READING,

Grace Bacon stood behind her father’s bakery counter. The smells of fresh baked breads and pies surrounded her. On top of the counter were several pieces of paper; the uppermost sheet was partially filled with neat rows of writing – a legible account of the sales. The far corner of the counter held a bowl full of dried apple slices. Off to the side was a bible. Her brother, Abraham, was helping a woman load a wagon for Reverend Parris. Only one customer was in the bakery at the moment and he was Ephraim Millson. Ephraim’s family owned the largest mill in town.
Ephraim stood a head taller than anyone else in the village and his green eyes always seemed to sparkle. A wide brimmed hat hid his closely shaven head. When he smiled quietly, Grace couldn’t help but to return the small affection.
As Ephraim approached the counter he greeted, “Miss Bacon, how are you this sunny day?”
Grace smiled and replied, “Quite well, Mr. Millson. How about yourself?”
“It looks like we will be having a busy season. Father just had a load of rye arrive at the mill,” Ephraim genially replied.
“Looks like God has blessed you with work this fall day,” Grace serenely stated.
“That he has. The crisp, clean air of spring will make it more enjoyable in the mill as well.
“How do you intend to cope with the warmer months ahead,” Ephraim asked inquisitively.
“The way God intended, Ephraim. By keeping my hands and mind busy; thus denying the devil a foothold in my heart,” Grace authoritatively answered.
The door to the bakery opened, admitting a dark skinned woman wearing a thin white bonnet and tan dress. Wisps of dark hair escaped her bonnet giving the appearance of exhaustion. She had brown eyes with dark bags underneath them.
Grace looked up from her conversation and greeted, “Good morrow, Tituba! How fares the Reverend and Mrs. Parris?”
“The Reverend is looking forward to morning services and Mrs. Parris is afflicted again,” Tituba meekly informed.
“God will surely see her well soon,” Grace promised before asking, “Was there something the Reverend was looking for?”
“The Reverend was wondering if there was any of Mrs. Bacon’s bread to be had. “It always makes Mrs. Parris feel shades better than the gloomy night,” Tituba quietly informed.
“Several are fresh from the beehive. I’ll have a package ready for you shortly,” Grace helpfully informed.
Tituba bowed her head in thanks as Grace stepped away from the counter.
“How fares the Reverend’s youngest,” Ephraim sternly asked Tituba.

“After seeing two doctors she’s still afflicted,” Tituba replied docilely. 

Ephraim frowned at Tituba. “As God wills it,” Ephraim ended the conversation as an awkward silence filled the little bakery. A grey cloud passed over his face at the thought of a child suffering.
Tituba bowed her head once more as the rustling of Grace’s petticoats could be heard. With a content smile on her face Grace handed Tituba a small bundle. Before Tituba could walk away Grace reached into one of the baskets on the counter and grabbed a handful of dried apple slices.
Handing the slices to Tituba, Grace quietly blessed, “May God ease your sufferings even the tiniest bit.”
Tituba gave a tremulous smile of thanks before hurrying out of the store.
“You’ve done her a far kinder service than she probably deserves,” Ephraim stoically complimented.
“God loves us all; even the Unchosen. Perhaps one day she will walk with us on His path,” Grace reasoned.
“What will your father say to the loss of profit,” Ephraim questioned.
“Father loves a good deed as much as God does. Blessings will come in one form or another,” Grace assured.
“Your faith is a model for all of Salem Towne to follow,” Ephraim complimented warmly. “Are you not afraid though for the children in her care?”

“The Reverend would not have her about were Tituba to harm their immortal souls,” Grace reasoned.
“True, though God tells us that the Devil can blind the best of us,” Ephraim admonished.
“The Reverend would never be blinded by such as that foul creature! Besides, I have it on high authority that he sent for another reverend from the village to see if any sense could be made of Miss Betty’s affliction,” Grace stridently informed.
“Let us pray that you are right,” Ephraim stated with concern.
“Ephraim, we are all God’s children. It is up to those of us who are chosen to lead others to the Righteous Path. Compassion is needed for all people who walk this test with us,” Grace implored of a doubtful Ephraim.
“Though you are right, I fear there is no saving the ignorant,” Ephraim observed.
Grace shook her head in dismay as her brother, Abraham, walked into the family owned bakery.
“How fare you this chilly day, Ephraim,” Abraham cordially asked with a smile.
“With God’s blessing the afternoon harvest of winter rye will be ready for the mill; by morning it should be ready for sale,” Ephraim cheerily informed.
“Our thanks Ephraim. Father will always be willing to pay a fair price for God’s bounty,” Abraham assured.
Ephraim nodded and thanked Abraham as he took his leave of the bakery.
Abraham turned to look at his sister and gently teased, “He seems like a pleasant sort.”
“He is polite enough,” Grace returned with a smile.
Abraham chuckled at his sister before asking, “If he asked father for a courtship, would you consider it?”
Grace cocked her head to the side and with a sly smile replied, “That depends. Has he?”
Abraham chuckled lightly as he responded, “Father was going to say something to you this evening. Fortunately, I know that you loathe surprises as much as God despises Hell.”
“Surprises do me no good,” Grace calmly stated as fire lit her eyes.
“Are you going to accept,” Abraham asked insistently.
Grace raised an eyebrow and stared into space for a moment before answering, “I do believe I shall. After all, life is a blessing; learning to love another is part of that blessing,” she finished serenely.
“Sister you truly do understand God’s will. Remember, father will not be upset if you find that you cannot learn to love him. Being honest and truthful is the first law,” Abraham reminded.
“Of course he wouldn’t. One cannot learn if one does not try though,” Grace insisted.