June 10, 1692
“Gently now, boys. Gently.”
George Corwin watched as the lifeless body of Bridget Bishop was slowly lowered. He guided the body to the ground as the rope slackened. She seemed to be staring up at him in… what was it… defiance? disgust? He kneeled and closed her eyelids, then carefully removed the noose from around her bruised and broken neck and dropped it to one side. He folded her arms across her breasts and, ignoring the smell of urine and faeces, straightened her skirts.
This is madness, he thought to himself, utter madness. Corwin was quite careful to keep his thoughts on this matter to himself. He had seen at first hand how easy it was for hysteria to drive an unfounded accusation of witchcraft completely out of hand. The first victim of the insanity was lying on the ground in front of him. She surely would not be the last.
He sighed. Respectfully, he picked up the body and placed it in the cart that had brought the innocent Bridget Bishop to Gallows Hill.
“Let’s get her buried.”