Alack and alas! Do these hoary ears betray me or did I not learn, as you good people did upon this blessed, celebratory day, the Fasting and Gnashing of Teeth Festival of August 6, 1692, of the actions of hell-spawn colonial Magistrate Walker? God’s good work is made undone by his treachery, we learn, as the will of the voters of this righteous colony of Salem is ordered, nay, commanded to be set aside. Our stonings and hangings must sadly abate to allow fearful witches to roam freely within our muck-filled lanes. Will no one consider the safety of our children? I speak, of course of our witch-tormented, most sage, very-well groomed and judicious children who have most kindly excluded your faithful reporter from the trials- will no one think of them?
Was it not the last planting that we, the people of Salem, did take a referendum upon which it was settled, 572-150 that the trials should be allowed to continue? I wonder that this was not taken into account by the most proud and power-maddened magistrate, in particular the confirming referendum held last harvest in which the unanimous vote of 572-0 put the matter entirely to rest. This reminds me- in my work as village sign painter, I must reconsider the “Welcome to Salem, Population 722” sign after the next Sabbath.
It was only upon the trial and subsequent gradual drowning of Farmer Brown that testimony was made clear through tongues and portents that it was God’s will the merciful and sweet-tempered little girls should be the final arbiters of who is or isn’t a witch. Mind you, I’m not saying magistrate Walker was deceived or misled in his findings. I simply suspect he has… you know… witch-like tendencies. I don’t know this for a fact, as he has not been sighted at the biweekly Friday night casting, incantations, and leather meetings held behind Farmer Morris’ cattle barn between dusk and matins. I mean- so I’ve been told. I wouldn’t know from personal- that is to say-
Let us move on.
It is sorely disappointing that the trials ended so soon, as I myself have seen the impact these young lasses, each of whom deserve a pony, has made upon our fair community. Only the other evening whilst hunting witches far into the night, I returned home and was asked many questions by my goodwife regarding where I was, had I been chasing that town harlot Sarah Jessup, why was there a woman’s lip paintings upon my large white lapels, and other troublesome questions. I did remark the next day in the presence of our town’s saviors, the well-attired young ladies to whom I just so happen to each owe an even prettier dress, how this line of inquisition reminded me of, oh I don’t know, perhaps a conjurer? I can assure my readers that my new wife, Sarah, asks far less questions which I can tell you, having already been a widower once, is much more to my liking.
Magistrate Walker, may you burn for your sins and repent the day you did go against the will of Salem! And, if it do please your honor, I would not mind if you would stay this order but a day, for you see, my neighbor is not offering a fair price for his fields and I swear I saw a cauldron in his possession. There might be a nice new leather vest in your future, if you consent- let us discuss it further next Friday.