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The Witch of Salem
by John R. Musick (excerpt)
Before more could be said, there came a rap at the door, and Charles Stevens, the lad who succored the wounded stranger that had so mysteriously disappeared, entered. Charles was almost a man, and bid fair to make a fine-looking fellow. He was tall and muscular, with bold gray eyes and a face open and manly. He had lost none of his mirth, and his merry whistle still shocked some of the staid old Puritans.
As soon as Charles entered, the young widow rose, all blushing, to greet him. She was not more than one or two years his senior, and, being still beautiful, there was a possibility of her entrapping the youth.
The pastor greeted him warmly and assured him that his visit was most opportune; but he regretted very much that he had not come an hour sooner.
"Wherefore would you have had me come an hour sooner?" asked the merry Charles.
"That you might, with your own eyes, behold some of the wonderful manifestations of the prince of darkness."
With a laugh, Charles answered that such manifestations were too common to merit much comment; but as a matter of course he asked what the manifestations were.
"An example of witchcraft."
At this Charles laughed, and Mr. Parris was shocked at his scepticism.