~ part nine ~
“I never would have guessed that her brother-in-law, Hathorne, would . . .”
“Examine us for witchcraft?” Em asked. “Set the bullshit in motion so that we were hanged?”
George gave a curt nod.
“I always felt like he was angry with me for how I treated Sarah, and . . .” George abruptly stopped talking.
“And me,” Em said.
He turned to look at her.
“Alice says that everyone in Salem Village knew that you loved me,” Em said. “Even Sarah.”
He raised an eyebrow in acknowledgment and looked away in shame.
“Sarah was the mother of four of your children,” Em said. “They were great kids.”
George turned to look at her.
“You knew them?” George asked.
“Of course,” Em said. “I tried to help them when they came to Boston. I worked with orphans, and they were orphans. I don’t think they ever guessed who I was.”
“There’s so much we haven’t talked about,” George said.
“Why did you marry Giles?” George asked.
“He was almost eighty years old,” Em said. “He needed someone to care for him — cook, clean, that kind of thing. He was fairly addled; still is.”
“That’s the truth,” George said.
“I’d spent all that time caring for Henry that it seemed fairly natural,” Em said. “Giles was kind to Benoni and helped Thomas join the church.”
“His testimony sealed your fate,” George said.
“He was pressed to death for his efforts,” Em said.
Out of words, they stared straight ahead and listened to their own thoughts.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” George asked.
“Why is that funny?” he asked.
“You are the most stubborn man I’ve ever met,” Em said. “You’re like a dog with a bone. You won’t set it down even when you know all the facts.”
“You know as much as I do,” Em said.
“You do,” Em said.
George nodded but didn’t respond. In response to his silence, Em picked up a ball of yarn and needles from a basket next to the couch. George raised his eyebrows to ask what she was making.
“Socks for my man,” Em said. “Your socks are destroyed. It will be winter soon enough, and you’ll be out with the homeless again.
He smiled at her. “You are good at taking care of your man.”
“Thank you, sir,” Em said with a nod.
George put his arm around her, and she nestled into him.
Suffer a Witch continues...