Entry One

It is said in Scripture that a wife should submit to her husband in everything, but also that a husband should love his wife and keep her without blemish, holy and blameless. Is this a contract, that when broken by one side dissolves the other? If one should fail in his or her duty, is the other free also to fail? Or is this a contract with God above, to try, and never cease trying, come what may? Perhaps my faith wavers, but I wrestle with these questions.

Night last, John came home from the riverside forest where he had been dragging lumber. First from his mouth came a complaint against Thomas Putnam and his claims to others' land, and I asked him the occasion upon which he and Putnam had met that day. He told me at the home of Reverend Parris, a strange place, as he and I have not been to church for many a week now for dislike of Parris, or rather, his sermons, but he was there as a concerned neighbor inquiring on the condition of young Betty Parris, but ten years old, taken ill. And what an odd illness it was! She lay still upon her bed, eyes closed, as asleep, but when from below came the sound of those singing a psalm, her face screwed up, she clapped her ears shut, and she whined, as though to block the psalm from reaching her soul, an evil action, not just in itself, but one provoking suspicion among many. I know not what to think; she is but ten years on this earth!.

Whilst John was there, the reverend from Beverly, Reverend John Hale, arrived, summoned by Parris to examine Betty. He specializes in witchcraft, and recently in Beverly uncovered several witches; however, methinks Parris may be a bit ahead of himself in so quickly calling him here. 'Twas just the night before that Betty had taken ill. When I voiced these thoughts to John, he replied that Parris had caught several girls, Betty and her cousin Abigail included, dancing in the forest and communing with spirits through Parris' slave, Tituba from Barbados. Well! When I heard of Abigail's involvement, it took a new angle for me.

She worked for John and I once, not all too long ago, but when I took sick over winter last, I fear that she and John may have had unrighteous relations. I observed them sneaking glances, brushing against one another, and, Abigail especially, having an air of superior secrecy. After all, John was a strong man in good health, burdened with an ailing wife, and Abigail was a young girl, unspoiled, who had not grown up entirely in Salem and under our instruction, but had been sent here after the death of her parents. She was, is, I suppose, a bold girl, leading the other girls her age, and has but little inclination to heed moral and ethical laws. Eventually, I requested to John that we dismiss her, and whether he did so from guilt of the affair, the urge to rid himself of temptation, or, one can always hope, simply a desire to please me, he did.

That was seven month ago. Since then, we have hired Mary Warren, and there have been to my eyes no signs of unfaithfulness. But still, there is a tension between John and I, most prominent when Abigail is present, in thought or in person. Perhaps I was wrong in my suspicions, and though I never spoke of them specifically with John, he holds me as falsely accusing him. But no, John knows me, he knows that I would not lie about something of that nature. A false witness is an abominable thing, and that I hope never to be.