"God preserves his with
~ Spoken by Joseph Parsons while defending his wife,
Mary Parsons, who was accused of witchcraft.
For Thou Art with Me
Adam, Lady JenniAnn, Bunny, and Lady Beth sat three rows back in
Roseate Theatre in Dyeland City. They stared intently at
figures on the stage, JenniAnn madly scribbling notes as the
death spoke. Occasionally she whispered something to her
assistant director, Bunny.
“I’d adjust the lighting, Nadia/Abigail looks washed out as it
“I agree,” Lady Beth nodded as she jotted notes for the program.
JenniAnn relayed the message into a headset and the lighting
changed. “And her dress. Burgundy. Is that
colorful for the Puritans? I thought it might be but then
wasn’t there so…” JenniAnn looked expectantly at Adam who tilted
head as he considered this.
“Right now it looks okay. Not too vibrant. I think
good. Besides, the red hue hints at…” Adam grew a little
“Passion?” JenniAnn grinned and the other two smirked and looked
expectantly at the angel of death.
Adam smiled back. “Yes. So, let’s see what it looks
all together now, you think?”
JenniAnn stood up and approached the actors. “Okay, let’s
with Elizabeth’s arrest. It involves several players on
we can see the light’s effect on them all. Then we’ll
Proctor and Abigail’s scene in the meeting house to be sure
lighting is set. Sound good?”
“A fine idea. And a very dramatic part,” Margherita,
Elizabeth, agreed. As she did Nadia left the stage and
the male cast members appeared.
JenniAnn retook her seat beside Adam and the two watched
patiently. Margherita’s eyes brimmed with tears and
Dyeland’s lawyer, and current “John Proctor” turned away from
pained. “Elizabeth” gave directions for maintaining the
as her jailers hovered near. “John” made vows to come for
“I will fall like an ocean on that court! Fear nothing,
“I will fear noth…” Margherita stopped cold in delivering her
stared out at the house.
“Margherita, are you feeling sick?” Lady Beth asked with
Margherita continued to stare to the very back of the house and
everyone on stage joined her. Curious, the four members of
audience turned around and saw the angel who had just
His gaze was fixed on the stage and he looked troubled.
“Andrew!” Lady JenniAnn gasped, stood, and took a few steps
him. “I had no idea you’d be back tonight. Please
There was a scraping noise from on stage then. Danny,
boyfriend, was huffing and puffing as he dragged a scaffold onto
stage. He was apparently unaware of the real life drama
in the theatre. “Well, here it is… Does it look horrible
enough?” Danny looked up and surveyed the faces of those
him, only then realizing something was amiss.
Andrew stood stock still at the back of the theatre for a moment
staring at the gallows, his face suddenly pale. Then he
his back and fled the theatre.
“Why didn’t you tell me this would upset him!?!?” Lady JenniAnn
Adam stared at where Andrew had just been, brows furrowed, then
the apparently ill-timed play’s director. “I had no
He never said anything about it.”
“I’m going after him,” Lady Beth announced, resolute.
“Me too. I should apologize. I should have made
sure everyone would be okay with this play.” JenniAnn shook her
head. “I… I just didn’t think he’d be here.”
“I should go… be there too,” Bunny added, looking at
She hoped to quell any over-the-top reaction her friend might
Adam grabbed his suit coat and followed them. “I’ll go
Then the entire assembly of faux-Salemites followed the four out
theatre and began to search for their friend.
“There!” Gerald called, spotting a lone figure through the
a willow tree that sat in front of Andrew’s house.
“Well, I don’t think all…” Miss Miriam, who had been playing
Warren, took a quick head count before continuing.
“Fifteen of us
should come upon him all at once. Especially those of us
like this!” The woman gestured to her coif and Gerald’s
Lady Beth nodded. “Yes, we don’t know what exactly set him
off. Perhaps you should go change.”
“Sounds good,” Danny agreed. “Then we’ll come right back
here. Gesture us over if you think we should be there.”
Everyone agreed with the plan and left Lady Beth, JenniAnn,
Adam to decide what to do next.
“So who approaches him first? Maybe I should go
JenniAnn suggested in a hushed voice, casting a longing,
at the tree.
The other three exchanged a glance.
“Oh stop it!” JenniAnn laughed but quickly sobered. “I’ll
you know I can apologize in a calm and undramatic fashion.
However…” She nervously twisted her ring about her finger
moment then looked at Adam. “Maybe you should go.
known him longest and can relate best if he does want to talk.”
Adam considered this while staring at the willow tree that
his friend. “But Andrew’s had centuries to speak of that
period with me if he wanted. Maybe he just doesn’t want to
with me about it. Lady Beth, maybe you could speak to
“I’d like to but maybe we…” She, too, had been staring at
willow and noticed movement. Andrew poked his head out
“It’s okay. All of you can come. And anyone else who
to. I guess it’s time for this story to be told. The
people that hear it the better and I… I’m not sure I’ll want to
again.” Andrew gave a slight, sad smile and held back the
branches so the others could duck in.
Everyone sat down on the soft grass. “The others, our uh
will be here soon. They wanted to change first,” JenniAnn
explained. Then she reached across and squeezed Andrew’s
hand. “I am so very sorry about this. It was all my
idea. See, when you’d been gone so long I got… well,
and bored and so I thought a play would be a good idea and so
seemed to love ‘The Crucible.’ But please know if I’d had
inkling that you might be upset… I would have picked something
else. I would have,” she stressed.
“And I had no idea you were there in Salem. I figured you
have told me and so I didn’t dissuade them,” Adam added.
bluish gray eyes softened when his proximity to his fellow angel
to see the sorrow Andrew was trying to mask.
“Really, none of us would ever want to upset you, Andrew,” Lady
picked up just as Adam stopped speaking. Bunny nodded in
Andrew chuckled at their steadfastness. “I know
Please don’t think I’m upset at any of you. And Adam
right, I was never in Salem but… well, I’ll explain when the
Everyone nodded and then sat quietly. The silence was
ended by Adam.
“Why are we here under this tree, anyway? It makes me feel
little kid in a fort. Like I should have sandwiches my mom
and a walkie-talkie.”
Andrew smirked and JenniAnn began to stand. “I can go get
sandwiches if you want,” she offered
Adam laughed and motioned for her to sit. “Oh no, I’m
“I guess when I ran out of the theatre, something made me want
but…” Andrew blushed a bit. “I suppose part of me wanted
found, too. And this tree…” His voice drifted off
hung his head back and stared through the branches, up to the
“It’s cozy here, closed in. Like a room. But people
into it,” Lady Beth finished for him.
“Yes.” Andrew smiled appreciatively at her. Lady
returned the smile then they grew quiet again. From
nearby an owl hooted. The other four looked with concern
Andrew who seemed suddenly far away. The three women kept
at him while Adam peeked out from the tree. Several of the
were clustered together by the theatre. He gestured for
come over and then caught the women’s gaze as they sat on either
of his fellow angel.
“The others are headed over,” Lady Beth informed Andrew.
sure you’re okay to tell this right now? Perhaps you need
first? You came off of a very lengthy and trying
Andrew shook his head. “No, it’s time. Over three
years is a long time to carry this around.”
“Andrew, are you okay?” Miss Miriam asked as she and the others
their places beneath the massive willow.
Andrew forced a smile that seemed almost painful to
hope to be soon. There’s something I want to tell you
“Andrew, I’m really sorry if I scared you with those
just… I mean, it’s in the script. We definitely weren’t
anything needlessly grim,” Danny apologized, worried that what
going on was his doing.
Andrew sensed the man’s feelings of guilt and shook his
know that, Danny. I do. To tell you the truth, I
all for wanting to bring a story like that to life. Those
they shouldn’t be forgotten. Ever. And I wasn’t
scared. It just… it brought back memories. Not all
ones.” Andrew’s control was weakening and his voice
cracked as he
spoke the last two sentences. He cleared his throat and
on. “I was never in Salem. I wasn’t there when the
who became famous or infamous like John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse,
Danforth, Hale, Hathorne, and the others lived and died.
wasn’t just Salem. Things, terrible things, happened
Adam bowed his head and nodded. Everyone’s eyes were on
himself or Andrew. Sad, curious, pitying eyes.
“It was late September of 1651. I’d been a caseworker for
sometime. Thinking back… You know, I sensed
Sam’s tone when he told me my next assignment was in Shiloh, a
town in Massachusetts.” Andrew frowned but then
“But, on the surface, it seemed like it was going to be a really
assignment.” Andrew laughed then. “After all, how
not be when it began with an unexpected, joyful reunion?”
As Andrew told his story his avid listeners found themselves
by his vivid imagery and animated storytelling. It was
hearing any story before. They all felt as if they were
there with their friend.
Andrew looked around as his horse, Starling, brought him down
dusty, ill-kept trail that passed as a road in Shiloh. On
side of him were fields of corn dotted with the occasional
His eyes lit up with pleasure as he soaked in the pastoral
beauty. Boston, where he’d been most recently, had its
this partly untamed land reminded him of his Home. From a
distance he could see farmers and their families laboring
stalks. As he continued the fields gave way to Shiloh’s
where the meetinghouse, mill, tavern, and other important
were situated. Andrew smiled and nodded at each person he
passed. They nodded back out of politeness but nothing
more. Andrew frowned. He was used to a less than
welcome, however. The people in these small settlements
constant fear of attacks and suspicious of outsiders. But
something more was at work there. Andrew sighed, wishing
given him a little more to go on. Starling began to hang
wary of continuing.
“There, there boy,” Andrew murmured.
Suddenly, a young boy of about ten came running at Andrew.
“Might you be Dr. Godman from Boston, sir?” he asked.
Andrew realized then that that would serve as his name for this
assignment. Godman. He smiled at the appropriateness of it
then nodded to the boy. “I am, yes. And your name?”
“A good name and a great man. Noah, could you show me to
Dr. Elias Grady is?”
“Aye, sir. He’s at the Harding place now. Their
Andrew dismounted his horse and led the now skittish creature
boy. As they walked Andrew wondered what exactly he’d
upon. For a doctor to be sent for meant something very
was happening. The village doctor was usually regarded as
end-all of medicine. He thought back through history to
various plagues and outbreaks. He hoped it wasn’t one of
those. He looked around for any of the angels of death but
none and took heart at that.
Noah stopped at the door of one of the larger homes. He
for Andrew to enter then burst in himself. Andrew could
boy excitedly telling of his arrival. After tying up
stroking his mane to console him, Andrew entered the
aged man leaning on a cane neared him.
“Dr. Godman, so glad you could come, sir. It is the little
girl. She is taken with catalepsy but naught I do brings
of it,” Dr. Grady explained, his face grave.
“I pray I can help, doctor. Where is the child?” Andrew
his eyes all ready exhibiting deep compassion.
Dr. Grady led him to another room where a child lay on her bed,
expression vacant. On either side knelt one of her
“Hugh Harding and his wife, Susannah,” Grady introduced.
shook the father’s hand and nodded politely to his wife.
this here is their daughter, Rachel.”
“How long has your daughter been unwell?” Andrew asked.
“Tis been a week, Dr. Godman, since she took sick. She
stares. It is all her mother can do to get her to eat,”
Andrew glanced at Susannah. She looked very worn and
worried. He gave her a brave, sympathetic smile. “I
my very best to help her. Be comforted that God watches
child. She is his very own, after all.”
The couple nodded and Andrew proceeded with his
his surprise the girl showed no signs of fever. In fact,
lack of movement, she seemed very healthy. He could think
reason for her present state.
Just then there was the sound of heavy footfall in the
“Doc! Doc! James! An accident at the mill,
He needs ye!” A man of about fifty ran into the room,
frantic. He glanced at Andrew but then right back at the
doctor. “Make haste! Please, Grady!”
Grady looked to Andrew.
“Go to him. I will see to things here,” Andrew
Dr. Grady rushed out then as best as he could with his bad
The newcomer stuck around, curious.
“And you have no explanation for what brought this condition
No change in her diet or activity?” Andrew questioned.
Hugh shook his head. “No, sir. It just came upon her
the others sudden.”
“Aye sir, my wife’s sister’s children took sick the same and
“Yet others?” Andrew was growing more troubled. He
at the man who had come for Dr. Grady. He stood shaking
“Four children besides my own Rachel, Dr. Godman. My
brother-in-law’s maid and his sister, a widow, also sicken.”
“And all behave the same as your Rachel?”
Susannah answered. “They do, sir. I cannot bear to
child and beloved nieces and nephew. I cannot!” She
to weep. “Tis not natural… not natural.”
Andrew took in a deep breath. Something was horribly amiss
here. “I do not know what causes your child’s
will need to think on it and see the others.”
Hugh nodded. “We wish you to do so, but night draws near,
sir. I thank you for your attention to our child.
show you to the lodging house?”
“Yes, please, Mr. Harding.” Andrew patted Rachel’s head
a silent prayer for the wisdom to help her.
The other man cleared his throat. “Dr. Grady spoke to me
hosting his visitor. I will take him with me, Hugh.”
Andrew thought he saw a hint of annoyance and anger flash across
face but the man only nodded.
“If that is what Grady wishes, Josiah. Dr. Godman was
“Aye and it is as he wishes,” Josiah responded, his face stern
humorless. He turned to Andrew then. “Please, sir,
“I will speak with you tomorrow, Mr. Harding. My prayers
your child and her cousins and the others.” Andrew bowed
slightly and then followed Josiah. The man was silent
were outside. Andrew was still unclear on what exactly was
purpose and wondered if this man were his assignment.
he seemed as if he needed some joy in his life. Josiah
patiently as Andrew untied Starling. As Josiah did not
have a horse, Andrew chose to walk and lead Starling. The
silent until they were some distance from the Harding house.
“I am sorry, sir, if that exchange were awkward. Hugh’s
George Harding, owns the lodging house. A tavern. He
anxious to have your business for his brother. Elias and I
thought a learned man such as yourself might prefer a quiet
place. If you would prefer the tavern I will harbor no
Dr. Godman. Though I will fear for your health, sir, as I
not feed Goody Harding’s meals to a dog.” Josiah smirked
eyes crinkled beneath his gray brows. Andrew at once saw
humor in the man and chuckled himself.
“I will take your word for it, sir, and gladly accept your
hospitality. Please, call me Andrew.” He held his
Josiah readily took it. “Josiah Lewis. If you would
call me Josiah. And your horse? Does he have a
“This, Josiah, is Starling. I apologize if he seems
skittish. He has been unwell today.”
“I do not blame him. Something strange is afoot, I am
sure.” Josiah frowned but then brightened. “My Hope
pleased. She adores horses.”
“No, my daughter. She is nineteen and the Lord’s greatest
blessing to me. My wife, Mary, has gone to Heaven these
“I am sorry to hear of your loss.”
Josiah gave a tender smile. “Ah but she is well
comfort myself with that.”
Andrew clapped the man’s shoulder. “Yes, she is.”
continued on in companionable silence.
“Here we are. And looks like Hope is preparing
looked up at the smoking chimney and inhaled the aroma of fish
freshly baked bread. “I hope the preacher has
was making his favorite last I heard,” Josiah beamed with pride
led Andrew into the cozy kitchen. When they entered they
Hope busying herself with dinner. A few of the young
raven curls poked out from beneath her coif. Her
sparkled as she talked animatedly with the man seated at the
table. The man’s back was to the door and at first all
could tell was that he had light blonde hair.
“I have someone I would like to introduce,” Josiah announced.
Hope and the man turned to face the door. The woman smiled
at Andrew and the man did his best to suppress something between
and a cry of joy. Andrew tried to cover his own surprise
happiness at seeing a fellow angel, one he counted as a dear
even. Hope hugged her father then looked expectantly at
“This is Dr. Andrew Godman of Boston. Dr. Grady sent for
he will be with us for however long he wishes. Andrew,
this is my
daughter Hope and Reverend Eben Bridges. He is also fairly
our village having been here but two weeks Thursday.”
“I am very pleased to meet you both and thank you heartily for
welcoming me among you,” Andrew smiled brightly and bowed his
Hope and shook Eben’s hand. As soon as Josiah and Hope had
the room to make sure Andrew’s room was ready, Andrew and Eben
“Eben! Sam didn’t tell me you would be here!” Andrew
couldn’t keep the smile off his face. Eben was one of his
friends amongst the angels. They were very much alike
different enough to keep each other interested and amused.
physically they were strikingly similar. Tess had once
that they looked very much like brothers. Andrew’s hair
a shade or two darker than Eben’s. While Andrew had soft
eyes, his friend’s were a striking cornflower blue. Right
both sets were lit with pleasant surprise.
Eben hugged his friend. Then he pulled away and chuckled
Andrew’s wardrobe, knowing full well his own was not really to
taste either. “No one told me you were coming
either. So a
doctor, eh? And from Boston!”
Andrew nodded. “Maybe not as impressive as a reverend, but
am. Though I think we both know where I’m really
winked but then bit his lip in thought. “Usually when we
profession on Earth we’re given the necessary knowledge to
it. But I find myself really confused by the symptoms of
I’ve seen. I’m not even sure why I’m here. Do you
you are, Eben?”
“Hmm… Possibly to keep you in line?” Eben joked.
Andrew faked an indignant expression. “I highly doubt
that!” He grinned. “Really, though, do you
told me so little about this case.”
“I know Josiah’s my assignment. I’m afraid his heart is
though he refuses to acknowledge it. I’m just here to
peace in his remaining days and lessen his burden. And
something changes count yourself lucky to be here, my friend,
couldn’t find a better sort than Josiah and Hope and her apple
Andrew laughed. “You’re easily pleased. I remember
practically wept when we had to leave Italy because you couldn’t
imagine life on Earth with out your daily dose of risotto with
mushrooms. Now you’re won over by apple pie.”
“You’ve not tasted the apple pie, Andrew…” Eben sighed dreamily
his face broke into a wide smile. “Maybe Hope is your
assignment! It would make me feel better to know she had
to help her grieve and heal when her father’s gone.”
Andrew considered this and at once felt as if his real purpose
there had been struck upon. He’d felt a stirring of
upon first hearing the girl’s name and even more upon seeing
“You know, I think you’re right. I’m sorry that Josiah
leaving her. I can all ready sense how much love is in
home. But I’m glad to have you here to help them.”
“As am I to have you here. It’s wonderful to be working
The two angels hugged then and soon Josiah and Hope returned and
four sat down to fish and warm bread and… apple pie.
Andrew paused in his story, gearing himself up for what came
next. Gathered closely round him, his listeners were
their heads. Lady Beth recovered her power of speech
“Eben… the demon? The one that caused all the trouble at
murder trial last May?” she asked.
“Yes, but he was once one of the kindest and warmest among
was a good angel. One of the best. My friend.”
was nostalgic and looked up through the branches to the sky
“I think maybe we should take a break. Some people haven’t
eaten. Some people meaning myself. And you don’t
see me when I’ve missed dinner,” Adam tried to inject some humor
“You shoulda let me get you some sandwiches,” JenniAnn told him,
smiling a bit though clearly shaken by all she’d just heard.
Adam grinned. “But I wasn’t hungry *then*. Let’s go
some now. Anyone else care for some?” He did a quick
as hands shot up. Then everyone began to walk around and
after sitting still for so long while Adam, JenniAnn, and Lady
left to go get some food and drinks.
Once inside the three got to work making the sandwiches, talking
“I’m not sure what’s coming but I know it can’t be good.
Andrew. What an awful situation to be in. You don’t
Eben fell during that assignment?” Lady Beth mused.
Adam struggled to remember. “I don’t remember when he
I never really knew him very well. I was all ready an
death by then.”
“Can you pass me the lettuce?” JenniAnn asked and Adam handed it
her. “Oh, hey, I’m sorry for snapping at you
earlier. I was
just taken aback at seeing Andrew there and thinking we’d upset
Adam shrugged. “It’s okay. I know how you get
Andrew sometimes,” he responded with an understanding
Lady Beth handed him the slices of cheese and looked at Lady
whose face had clouded.
“It’s not that I don’t get concerned about you, too,” JenniAnn
muttered. “I just… I can’t think about that.”
Adam looked at her with surprise then back at Lady Beth who
answer but didn’t seem startled by the statement. Adam
himself searching for some smart-aleck comment to make but came
“I’m sorry, I’m not following…” was all he said.
JenniAnn focused on shredding lettuce and didn’t look up as she
spoke. “Okay, it’s not like I really think anything is
happen to any of you angels. Eben not withstanding you’re
bunch but… if… I mean back during Andrew’s trial… you kept
everyone focused. You got us where we needed to be.
kept people laughing. If… if you went away… who would take
of us? Who could we count on to make us laugh?
you’re… Okay, I’ll level with you, Adam. There’s a
people out there with crushes on you. Not sure if you know
or not. But maybe you should. I mean, I don’t
ya know… Andrew…”
Adam stared at the flustered, weepy-eyed woman with bafflement
an increasing sense of tenderness. Despite the serious
conversation had taken, all three continued making
“I do care, a lot. You’re like… the dad that makes sure
is as happy as can be and… and… properly dressed and… and that’s
can’t worry about you often. Cause…” JenniAnn’s rambling
off by a sob.
“Because it’s too scary?” Lady Beth offered, sympathetic.
actually heard this from JenniAnn before and was just glad Adam
finally going to hear it for himself.
JenniAnn nodded then, at last, looked up at Adam. “I don’t
strapless dresses any more because of you!”
Adam was somewhere in between a chuckle and an emotional
Lady Beth saw that Danny, Miss Miriam, and some others were
near the castle, probably to help carry the sandwiches
before JenniAnn’s declaration of assumed-filial regard
into an off-key rendition of “Butterfly Kisses” or, considerably
likely, “Sunrise, Sunset” she hurried up with the sandwiches and
other two caught on and followed suit.
“Nothing’s going to happen to me, JenniAnn. I’m here for
long-haul. With my turkeys.” Adam tried to cheer her while
three packed up the sandwiches and went to meet the
thanks, for telling me all that. It means a lot.”
She nodded and nothing more was said of the exchange while
milled about the willow tree and ate and shared in some light
conversation. But eventually everyone grew quiet and
expectantly at Andrew. They all knew that, for whatever
his past had come to play some part in their own lives and they
to see it through. With out considering any other
they all sat beneath the willow tree.
Andrew began again. “I only wish the rest of that time had
as pleasant as that first evening with Josiah, Hope, and
But even by that next morning so much had changed…”
When Andrew came down the stairs he could hear that Josiah and
were all ready up and about. He guessed that they were
and hung back in the hall for a moment. Their voices
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of
enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
When they’d finished, Andrew entered. He could tell at
something had happened overnight. Something bad.
“Andrew, I hope you slept well. Please, sit and eat,”
Andrew did as requested but then looked up at his host.
are you unwell?” he asked with concern.
Josiah nodded. “Nay but James Jenkins, the mill owner,
“I am very sorry, I know he was your dear friend, Josiah,”
“That he was and he is with the Lord now as he longed to be,”
added then inhaled deeply and changed the subject. “I do
to rush you but Dr. Grady has all ready been past for you.
Shortly after he left James he was called to the house of some
afflicted. They have taken a bad turn it seems. Hope
ready seeing to your Starling.”
“Do you know where he is now?”
“The Small place. I can show you where it is after your
“You should rest yourself, Josiah. I can help Andrew
around. Perhaps even be of assistance to those who are
interrupted, making his determined offer. “Stay home with
Hope. This is a time to hold family near.”
“I could do with some rest, after I tend to the crops.”
“We can take care of that when we return. Josiah, you must
Andrew urged in between bites of corn pone and jam. “I say
as a doctor,” he added with a smile.
Josiah returned it and nodded. “If a doctor insists then I
Assured of this, Andrew and Eben went outside.
“There you are, boy. Fed and watered. Sweet boy…”
murmuring to Starling who nuzzled her affectionately.
“Good morning, Hope. Thank you for caring for
is taken with you. Poor thing has been out of sorts since
arrived but he seems perfectly content with you,” Andrew mused,
pleasantly at the young woman.
“Twas my pleasure. He is a fine beast. Are you both
to the Small place?” Hope stroked Starling’s mane a few
times then stepped away for Andrew to mount the horse.
“We are. Is it very far off?”
“One of the nearest to this one actually,” Eben answered and
the direction the other homestead lay.
“I see. Perhaps since Eben is with out a horse we had best
walk. Would you mind watching Starling for me today,
Andrew asked her.
Hope’s eyes grew wide with happiness at the prospect. “I
pleased to do so, sir.”
“I thank you very much and for breakfast, as well,” Andrew
“Yes, thank you, Hope. Andrew and I have ordered your
rest today. We will tend the fields upon our return.
let him tell you otherwise.” Eben peered into her eyes,
emphatic. She nodded and he smiled with relief.
“Have a good day, Hope!” Andrew wished then squeezed her
pet Starling before Eben led him away and toward the
“God be with you both!” Hope called after them. Andrew
back towards the Lewises’ home and waved to her. He turned
again after a few paces and smiled to see Hope again speaking to
When Andrew and Eben made it to the Smalls’ they found a
activity. Andrew expected to find more cases like what he
Grady had witnessed with Rachel Harding the previous day.
However, what he really found was a highly bothered Grady and
pandemonium. As soon as he arrived, Andrew was urged to
Rachel’s cousin Hannah Small, twelve, her sister Esther, eleven,
the youngest of the Small children, nine-year-old Ephraim.
none did he find a hint of a fever or other physical
While Eben prayed with the distraught parents, Ezekiel and
Andrew looked in on Judith Paine. Judith was Ezekiel’s
sister who lived in a smaller abode on the same plot of land
fifteen-year-old daughter, Martha. Mother and daughter
writhed around, hissing, and howling like wild creatures.
point Judith leapt to her feet and screamed “Take back your
spirit! Do not hurt me, take back your spirit!”
Meanwhile, the Smalls’ maid Mary Thorpe stood in a corner
will not give myself to you. Nay, I will not,
nonsense was punctuated every so often by her whirling around,
to something unseen, and screaming.
Increasingly troubled, Andrew and Eben departed the Smalls’
with Dr. Grady as soon as they could and headed back to the
Hardings. But they found no relief from the “fits”
Gone was Rachel’s trancelike state. She, too, displayed
“I must admit, Dr. Grady, I have no idea what might have brought
on.” Andrew shook his head as he spoke to the local
“Their parents testify they have experienced no change in
they were perfectly healthy until very recently, and that they
never behaved so before.”
Dr. Grady seemed to be struggling with whether to say
At last he seemed to decide but did not meet Andrew’s
“There is talk in amongst the townsfolk, Andrew. That
Jenkins’ death was no accident. Twas the work of a
Perhaps these children are witched. Then there would be no
natural explanation for their condition.”
Andrew stared aghast at the supposedly learned man. “A… a
“Might even be a whole coven,” Grady answered haltingly.
Andrew’s sensitive ears, he seemed to be forcing each
Eben had finished praying over Rachel and, approaching Andrew,
Grady’s last remark. He looked in shock at his friend then
at the village doctor. “I would not think you would want
a diagnosis based on village gossip, sir.”
Grady’s face burned red and he glared at the preacher. “I
say this based on village gossip, Reverend, but the Bible
the existence of witches and my medical knowledge gives me no
explanation for this child nor the others’ conditions!”
“Our knowledge is limited, doctor, and there may be other
beyond medical ones or witchcraft,” Andrew pressed. It had
to dawn on him that it seemed very odd all the afflicted were
to each other in one way or another. Just then Hugh
passed through the room. Andrew caught a glance pass
and the doctor. Grady’s change in demeanor began to make
him. Some plot was at work and Grady had been drawn into
Dr. Grady stood as tall as he could and showed Andrew a proud,
glare. “Perhaps, I made a mistake in appealing to you for
Dr. Godman. Are you a man of faith, sir?”
Andrew was taken aback at this sudden change of tone. Only
day before the man had seemed steeped in gratitude that he’d
come! Andrew snapped out of his musings and answered in a
voice. “I do only the will of God, sir.”
Eben looked from his friend to the doctor and noted the resolve
their faces. “Come now, let us not let the sad state of
child nor the others cause troubles amongst us, gentlemen.”
“Yes, well I will tend this child and the others. Good
Godman. Reverend.” With those words Elias Grady
entered the room Hugh Harding had only moments before.
Eben were left alone.
“Let’s get back to Josiah and Hope. At least they have
sense. And we have some work to do in the fields.
talk then,” Eben pulled Andrew, still standing in bewilderment,
the door. As they walked back to the Lewises’ they were
aware of the paranoia and whisperings of every villager they
passed. Clearly the assumption of witchcraft was
An hour later Andrew and Eben arrived back at the Lewis
Hope fixed them a quick snack but then, despite her protests,
insisted upon doing work in the fields as they’d promised
They had hoped for that time to talk freely about the goings on
“I’m worried, Eben. I was never around it much but… I
the witch trials in Europe. Innocent people…
Thousands. Maybe even millions. It just seems like
should be doing something more than being here, sequestered with
two people in this village who least seem to need
rested the cart he’d been dragging and began to pull some corn
Eben frowned. Despite Andrew’s attempts to hide it, Eben
the worry in his ever-expressive green eyes. “Troubling,
it’s not as if names have been mentioned. Maybe what we’re
witnessing is just the games of very bored children and a couple
repressed women. All that energy has to come out at some
point. I’m telling you, I really think we’re here simply
some peace to Hope and Josiah as their days together grow
“I pray it’s only that. I just wish Sam could have told me
more. It’s not normal for me to see him so seldom during
assignment. I’ve been here a full day now and not a single
word.” Andrew bit his lip and ran his fingers through his
Eben shrugged then tossed some corn into the cart. “I’m
just busy with his own cases or checking in on some of his other
protégés. He’s been with you for some time.
He knows you’re dependable and don’t need to be constantly
“I suppose. I’m just really glad you’re here, Eben.
Something about this…” Andrew shook his head.
“Fear not, my friend.” Eben winked at Andrew.
Andrew returned a genuine smile. “Thanks for the
Now let’s finish this up. Looks as if Hope’s started
dinner.” He tilted his head to the smoke rising from the
During dinner Andrew told both Josiah and Hope of Dr. Grady’s
of him. He didn’t wish to continue staying with them under
“I am surprised at Elias’ unkindness. But I hope you still
you can stay with us, Andrew. Just in the day you have
you have been of great help to me. And Hope has been so
having Starling around.” Josiah smiled gently at his
blushed but smiled back. “And it seems the Reverend enjoys
company. I am sure he enjoys the conversation of a man his
age, not an old codger like me!”
Eben shook his head and grinned. “That is nonsense and you
it, Josiah. You’ve a mind as sharp as anyone I know.”
“Yes, Papa, do not speak so. But he is right, sir,” she
Andrew, “we do very much wish you would stay on with us.
you.” She indicated Eben, as well.
Andrew beamed and took both their hands. “Then I would
very much. I thank you both for your generosity and
hospitality. Especially having only just met me.”
Josiah peered at Andrew. “‘Be not forgetful to entertain
strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’”
Andrew tried to mask his amazement at hearing that passage
him. He wondered if Josiah had somehow come to know his
identity. Meanwhile, Eben nearly choked on his fish in
“Reverend!” Hope cried and rushed to his chair.
Eben was turning bright red but finally regained his
“Aye, just fine. You would think at my age I would know
Once assured his guest was all right Josiah began to
“That reminds me of a story of your mother, Hope. The time
near killed me at the dinner table.”
Hope looked at her father with raised eye brows. The two
too, looked at him curiously. Thus assured he had a rapt
audience, Josiah told in vivid and amusing detail of the time
Lewis had accidentally baked her thimble into corn pone during
first year of the marriage, nearly causing him to choke when he
it in his piece. Then they all took turns sharing stories
their lives until late into the evening.
A week passed and the madness in the village grew. The
inhabitants of the Lewis homestead stayed near the farm, hoping
the frenzy out. Their only routine venture into Shiloh was
Sunday services each week. They drew closer to each other
adopted the behavior and manner of speaking as befit a family.
Nonetheless, they couldn’t avoid news from the village coming to
them. The day after Andrew’s dismissal, Eben walked into
retrieve some medicine for Josiah from Dr. Grady. It was
learned that the Small children had cried out that Anna Jacobs’
assaulted them at night. The forty-five year old woman who
alone in a cottage on the outskirts of the settlement was
arrested. The next day Judith Paine accused Sarah
twenty, of appearing to her and bidding her sign the Devil’s
book. By week’s end five women, one man, and, worst of
child sat in the village jail.
This news increased Josiah’s resolve to keep his daughter and
guests close to home. While he could not imagine anyone
on his daughter nor his guests, he still feared.
Eben refused to let him go alone when he insisted upon visiting
friend James’ widow. Claiming he wished to minister to the
bereaved woman, Josiah relented and the two left after breakfast
Hope had designated the day as washing day and was in the yard
out and hanging the bedclothes. Andrew had offered help
had declined it, instead asking him to read from the Bible aloud
worked. At her bidding he read the Beatitudes.
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall
you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against
falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great
reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were
you,” Andrew read. He looked up from the text then and
Hope was looking preoccupied.
“Hope, what is it that troubles you just now?” Andrew asked with
Hope bit her lip and hung up another sheet to dry before
answering. “Only the news from the village. Those
people! Andrew, I know them! I never heard nor saw
that they had given themselves to the Devil. Never.
little Alice! She is but 6 years old, Andrew!
mother!” Hope’s voice rose with impassioned anger.
Andrew bowed his head. “The accusations are false.
‘affliction’ imagined. I only wish I could have prevailed
Dr. Grady to consider this…”
“You cannot fight a feeling of dread that has been so long with
them. We have a reverend whose sermons… they instill
fear. We profess to believe in a loving Father but the
preaches only damnation and now… tis no wonder some have come to
only evil. And Papa keeps us safe here but it hurts to do
as people suffer!” Hope began to cry. Andrew sat
Bible and went to her.
“Hope, you have a good heart. Your father and mother
well.” Andrew sighed then. “I suppose it is left to
try to demonstrate God’s love with our own lives.” He took
her hands in his. “Then we hope they see that and are
Hope considered this and seemed encouraged by it. She
hanging her laundry, this time with Andrew’s help. Then
inside and began to bake every treat that came to her
Josiah returned home she pleaded with him to let her go amongst
families of the accused and bring them food and comfort.
feared for his daughter but he was proud of her and
That night when Hope went to bed it was with a lighter
had a mission and a purpose.
Andrew was deep in prayer as the sun rose the next
was surprised when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He
around and found himself facing Eben who was wearing the baggy
pants and short-sleeved shirt he favored in Heaven.
“Henry’s here in town. I saw him, Andrew,” his fellow
him, his tone grave and low.
Andrew looked at Eben, aghast. “Why was Henry here?”
Before Eben could answer, Sam appeared in the room.
taken a complicated turn, Andrew.”
“Sam! I’ve wondered where you’ve been! What’s going
on? Why have you stayed away?” Andrew questioned.
Sam grimaced. “Because if I was seen speaking to you, you
find yourself where Anna Jacobs and Sarah Anderson now
They’re being put on trial, Andrew. You were originally
here, both of you, to provide solace to this little
remains your task but it’s been complicated.”
Andrew realized then his own garb had changed to far more
lighter attire. “What does this mean, Sam?”
“You and Eben will go, unseen, into town. You’ll watch the
proceedings. You have to know what you’re up
won’t see me again until this assignment is finished. But
remember God is with you both and with every person in
Both of you must remember that. Understand?” Sam
them both. Andrew and Eben nodded. “Go then, a note
left for Josiah and Hope explaining your absence.”
Andrew nodded, shaken but intent on doing his best on this
assignment. Then he turned to Eben and at once they were
gone. Next thing he knew they were standing at the back of
meetinghouse. It was packed with people. In the
sat the three Small children, Mary Thorpe, Judith and Martha
Rachel Harding. To the angels’ dismay, George Harding, the
tavern-keeper, his wife, Ruth, and their seventeen-year-old
Leah, were also there. They had been added to the ranks of
afflicted. At the front sat three judges with Dr. Grady
near them, explaining something to them. The Reverend
Baker sat near them also, his stern gaze traversing the
Into this hostile crowd was led Anna Jacobs.
As soon as she set foot inside the meeting house the occupants
first row began to cry and writhe about. The judges shot
questions at Anna Jacobs who tried her best to hear them over
“Have you consorted with the Devil, Anna Jacobs?” a judge
Anna met his gaze. “No, sir, as I am a Christian I have
sought the Devil!”
“So you say you have never harmed any of these you see in such
Anna shook her head. “I have not! What is it plagues
Hannah Small let out a great yelp then. “I see him!
a… a dark man! He stands beside Goody Jacobs and whispers
her ear! No… no…” Hannah screamed then and brought
to her stomach as if she’d been struck there.
“I see Goody Jacobs’ specter striking Hannah! Draw it
Jacobs!” Leah Harding demanded, terror in her eyes.
“This is… it’s craziness, Andrew! Her specter?” Eben
to his friend, his face wan and eyes flashing with anger.
Andrew looked from the shrieking afflicted to the proud but
increasingly worried Anna Jacobs. He didn’t know what to
Eben. He could barely believe his eyes. Suddenly
felt someone grip his left shoulder. It wasn’t Eben, who
his right. Andrew turned. “Henry…”
“Andrew, Eben,” Henry tilted his head in greeting but seemed as
to be there as the other two, if not more.
“Henry, why are you here?” Andrew asked.
Eben scoffed. “You know why he’s here. There is
intent here. I saw our friend here walking about the place
Henry was taken aback by Eben’s bitter tone. “You know I’d
not be here, Eben. But it’s my duty.” Henry waved
in the direction of the alleged afflicted. “God wouldn’t
any one that these sorry souls betray to suffer and die
And so neither will I.” His voice softened then.
please, pray it doesn’t come to that. I don’t want…”
The din at the front of the church grew louder. Eventually
Jacobs was removed in hopes that her absence might give relief
poor girls she allegedly tormented. Andrew and Eben
she was hauled out. Henry stepped away from them and
Eben was seething. Andrew’s own righteous anger was kept
only by a wash of pity he felt as the next of the accused was
in. She was barely more than a girl. Her face was
for want of food and she cowered as she was led in.
The judges looked sternly at her. “Sarah Anderson, a
witchcraft has been put against you. What say you, are you
of this charge?”
The young woman shook with nerves. “I am clear, sir.
never practiced witchery. I know nothing of it.”
“Why then do these poor people cry out against you?”
“I… I do not know, sir. Perhaps they are just very ill and
“Have no sense… have no sense…” Mary Thorpe began to mimic
Sarah. Soon the others joined in. When Sarah brought
arms about herself to ward off the cold, the afflicted followed.
“Woman, why do these people do as you do?”
Sarah looked at her accusers, bewildered. “I swear I do
“I swear I do not know!” came the echo.
“Sarah Anderson, stop this at once!” the reverend ordered.
“I cannot! I have no control of it. Tis not me,
cried. Terrified, she crumpled to the ground and began
weeping. This threw the Harding-Paine-Small contingent
severe convulsions and yelping.
“He tells her to torment us! He is with her now! I
Devil beside her now!” Judith Paine shouted, scratching at the
“Just as he was with her last night when she came and scratched
arm!” Mary Thorpe bellowed and pushed up her sleeves to indicate
Eben was practically shaking. “This… it’s an
Look at that poor girl! She looks half-starved.
clearly paid her no attention until now. Not enough to
and now this! I can’t just stand here, Andrew. I
“Eben!” Andrew reached for his friend who was headed to the
the meetinghouse. But Eben shrugged him off and
He knelt beside Sarah and put his arm around her. “Take
Sarah. Do not give in. God is on your side. He
you speak the truth and He will be with you. You are His
child and He will not… He will never abandon you.”
Sarah seemed to sense Eben’s words, even if she could not see
him. “I am clear! I am clear!” she cried and stood
up. She looked the judges directly in the eye. “I am
God and so I am clear!”
There was a great scream from George Harding then.
turned to see him staring, aghast, at his wife who remained
the floor. “Look here! She hath stabbed my
wife is bleeding!”
Ruth Harding stood then and indicated a slash in the fabric at
shoulder. Beneath it was a thin line of blood. “Your
specter hath done this!” she pointed to Sarah and then swooned
The judges were visibly moved by this demonstration.
Anderson, you have one last chance to declare your guilt and
repentance or you will hang!”
Sarah began to shake again.
“Have courage, Sarah. Disregard their accusations and
God’s love, dear,” Eben bid her. His voice was at its
most soothing and he willed strength and love to her.
looked on, proud of his friend’s kindness.
“The Devil speaks to her now! He is at her side! His
about her! She is his!” Hannah Small cried out.
Eben went cold and dropped his arm from around Sarah. Had
girl seen him? How? He looked for Andrew’s face and
same shock and horror he felt there.
Sarah was weeping profusely.
“Answer! Now!” one of the judges bellowed.
The woman again fell to the ground. She had seen a hanging
once. She could not bear the thought… She moved to
knees. “Aye, I am a witch. God forgive me! God
forgive me! God help me!”
The crowd cheered. They had their proof now. And,
thought, a soul ripped back from Satan’s grasp. Further,
began to name other witches as the judges demanded them.
courted adjourned then and everyone exited the
Andrew made his way to Eben who knelt near where Sarah just
He was a picture of defeat and anguish as he cried. “What
Andrew sat beside him. “You were trying to help her, the
“That girl saw me! She must have! Saw me as
She may have played along to suit her parents as you surmised
“You don’t know that, Eben. She cried similar
isn’t your fault,” Andrew consoled. “It’s not!” he added,
to convince his friend.
Eben gave no sign whether he agreed or not. “I’ve had
this. I don’t want to see any more.”
Andrew nodded and bowed his head in prayer. Then the two
back outside the Lewis place.
Hope saw them first from the window and came running to
“Praise God! Papa and I were so worried. Goody
by and said two men had been arrested. We prayed it was
you!” She hugged them both then noticed Eben’s long face
reddened eyes. “Dear Eben, what has happened?”
“Sarah Anderson hath confessed. It… it will make it more
difficult for the others. Anna Jacobs… she would
fear… I fear she will hang,” Eben related tearfully then
few paces off and into the field.
Hope looked to Andrew for confirmation. He nodded
“He is unwell,” she spoke quietly to Andrew.
“Aye, he is very shaken by this.” Andrew wiped his hand
his eyes, not wanting to further upset the girl with the tears
were forming there.
Hope nodded. “I will start an apple pie. I know he
Andrew gave an appreciative half-smile. “He does. I
speak to him.”
Andrew walked into the field where he found Eben staring up at
tears pouring down his face. Andrew tried again to talk
friend out of his unwarranted guilt. He counseled him as
began to work in the fields until Hope called them in to join
Andrew again paused in his story. His throat had gone dry
telling and Lady Beth and Adam went off to fetch ginger ale,
water, and assorted other drinks. When they returned
not seem anxious to return to his memories. However, he
answered questions from his friends.
Miss Miriam, who had been portraying one of Salem’s accusers in
play, was very moved by Andrew’s recollections. She
considered what light his experience might shed on Mary Warren’s
character. “Andrew, why did those people act as they
Why did they accuse innocent people?”
Andrew sipped his ginger ale then slunk back against the
again. “I suppose the reasons weren’t the same every
In every town. But in this case it seemed to be so coldly
calculated. That became more obvious to me as time
At first the ‘afflicted’ accused those who had little power in
society. Anna and Sarah were single women. Anna was,
that time, of advanced age and Sarah was ill. They had no
defend them. The accusers used them to gain the support of
village. Once assured they had that… they set about
their plan. They accused land-owners and their wives and
children. What no one seemed to realize was that the
lived on plots bordering the Harding and Small residences.”
“It was all about land. I had heard that,” Margherita
“Mostly, I think. There were other motives, too, I’m sure
that. And to this day, I don’t blame those younger
children. They were pawns and victims in this, too.
Children were taught unflinching obedience to their
when Hugh or Ezekiel or Rebecca told them to cry out someone’s
they did. And most of them would struggle with guilt for a
time.” Andrew shook his head.
“Poor Eben…” Lady JenniAnn murmured. She couldn’t quite
she found herself saying it. A little over a year ago
wished to wring his neck when he’d tried to have Andrew jailed
murder. “Why did Hannah see him? Did she?”
Andrew shrugged. “I was never sure. I think she
based on something that happened some weeks later. I’ll
“Andrew, are you okay to continue? We could pick this up
or some other time. I know how draining it sometimes is to
remember past assignments.” Adam looked with concern at
“Yes, of course. There’s no reason it all has to be told
tonight,” Lady Beth seconded.
Andrew shook his head and smiled at their concern. “I’m
okay. But I can delay the rest until another time if the
you want me to. It can’t be easy to hear.” He
faces of everyone else, looking for signs of distress or
“I think everyone’s fine, Andrew. If you are,” Nadia spoke
gently, moved like the others that Andrew thought of their
it was him who was dredging up unpleasant memories.
“I am, thanks. Well, a couple weeks passed. Josiah
protective so our journeys into town became even more
Eben had grown more withdrawn and I did my best to cheer him and
there for Hope. She still insisted upon visiting those in
need… She was exactly what she had been named:
Andrew smiled in fond remembrance.
Andrew set down the hammer he’d been using to mend Josiah’s
and waved to Hope who came riding towards him. She had
on one of her charitable visits with Starling. Andrew had
her free use of the horse since he seldom needed him.
had to admit, Starling seemed to prefer the young woman.
“Hello Hope, how is everyone?” Andrew asked once she drew near.
“As well as can be expected. There are children with out
wives and husbands with out spouses…” Her eyes brimmed
as she related the sad state of the villagers.
“I pray this madness stops soon before…”
“Hope! Andrew!” Josiah’s call interrupted their
conversation. Andrew and Hope moved towards the man who
heavily on Eben’s arm as they came in from one of the rare
“Papa!” Hope was alarmed at her father’s state.
“Do not worry, daughter. I am well but very
have…” his voice broke off.
“They have hung Anna Jacobs,” Eben finished gravely and bowed
The declaration was met by stunned silence. Andrew had
the situation would not come to that. Hope, raised a happy
optimistic child, struggled to believe that such a thing could
happen. She whispered a prayer for the poor woman then
Josiah inside. The two angels followed them in, Andrew
with concern at his friend whose countenance had grown more
The news of Anna Jacobs hit others hard, as well. Shortly
Josiah and Eben had returned home, Nathan Wilkens was at their
door. Nathan was the twenty-year-old only son of a widowed
mother, Constance. He was among Hope’s charges and
troubled by the news as his mother currently sat in the jail,
of witchcraft. He was prevailed upon to stay for
During the meal it became obvious to Josiah, Andrew, and Eben
young man was quite taken with Hope. Watching him shyly
her, praise her meal as even Eben could not, and help her in
he could manage proved a needed diversion for the three
pretended not to notice the knowing smiles exchanged between her
and two friends.
After Nathan left, having been assured of the support and
all four inhabitants of the house, everyone set about doing the
chores. When Andrew came in from a final check of the
noticed some movement between the branches of the willow tree
beside the home.
“Hope, is that you there?” he called.
“Aye, tis,” she answered.
“Are you all right then?”
“As best as I can be given it all. Only thinking to
answered, poking her head out from the branches.
Andrew nodded and smiled sympathetically. “Would you like
about it or no?”
“I would, I think.” Hope held some branches back for
“This is a calming spot,” Andrew commented, looking about.
Hope smiled. “My mother used to sit with me here and sing
tell stories from Ireland. She was not from here. My
met her during a journey to Boston once.”
“He told me of it. I can tell he loves her very much.”
“He does. I come here when I need to think because it
think of her.”
Andrew could see Hope’s eyes twinkling even in the fading light
thought of her beloved mother. But then her eyes grew sad
put a hand on her shoulder.
“I feel for Nathan. He is so worried that he will lose his
mother. Oh Andrew, you could never meet a more charitable
woman. I cannot see how…” She began to cry.
Andrew frowned. “It is very troubling and I pray it passes
any more are killed. For the sakes of the accused and
families. At least Nathan has a good friend in you.
comforts him, that much is clear. Further, your father,
myself cannot help but think Nathan is smitten with you,
Andrew looked kindly at the young woman, his own eyes twinkling
Hope managed a smile. “Nathan is a very good man but I
and would like to stay with him. I know others think it
not want to marry, especially at nineteen but… I am happy here,
Andrew. I do… care for Nathan but see no need to hasten
“I admire and understand that, Hope. I do,” Andrew beamed
her. She returned his smile and then they both went back
As the weeks wore on Nathan became a fixture at the Lewis
homestead. It was one afternoon on his way there that he
spotted by Leah Harding. She was out walking with her
cousins. The teenager watched him head towards the Lewis
and bristled. Her parents had tried to orchestrate a
between their daughter and the Wilkens heir. The Wilkens’
land bordered the Smalls’ and would have added several acres to
Harding-Small compound. However, Nathan had little
the vain girl nor her proud parents and the engagement never
place. George Harding’s pride had been stung and that was
Constance Wilkens now stood accused of witchcraft.
“Where is Nathan going, Leah?” Martha Paine asked.
“Looks like he is going to the Lewises’,” Hannah Small piped in.
Martha smirked. “I hear Hope Lewis has taken to comforting
families of the accused. No doubt Nathan among them.”
Leah’s face turned red at the insinuation. “I feel weak,
cousins. Let us make haste back to the
girls quickly made their ways back to the village and there
Later that evening there was a pounding at the Lewises’
Josiah had not been feeling well that day and so everyone had
to their rooms early. Nonetheless, Josiah got up and went
answer. He prayed as he made his way there, hoping it was
young Nathan with sad news of his mother. By the time he
there Hope, Andrew, and Eben were also up and stood behind him
Josiah opened the door and gasped. At the door stood the
an official of the court, and a couple men from the
sheriff was looking particularly haggard and as if he wished to
where but there.
“Josiah, a charge has been called against Hope. She must
before the court. We have come to arrest her,” he told,
meeting the man’s eyes. The two men behind him drew
“That is nonsense! You will not enter my home and take my
child! You go and tell the court that!” Josiah
Behind him Andrew and Eben had stepped in front of Hope,
“Sirs! One woman has all ready died and many suffer and
what? Based on the evidence of some children and their
parents? Evidence you can neither see nor hear?” Andrew
questioned, hoping to appeal to their reason. “Do you not
it strange all the accusers are related?” he added, boldly.
“Watch yourself, doctor,” the clerk warned, his merciless glare
“Is that a threat, sir?” Andrew stood taller and stared back,
“Ignore him, get the girl,” the official ordered.
“You will not have her!” Eben roared.
Heedless, the two men shoved Josiah out of the way as he barred
door. All ready unwell, the man fell limply to the ground.
“Papa!” Hope cried and moved from behind Andrew and Eben and
beside her father. She kissed his forehead. “Papa…”
murmured. “I love you.”
“I love you, too, my child,” Josiah’s eyes filled with
Eben darted at the two henchmen while Andrew stepped towards the
sheriff but Hope stood and raised her hand. She looked
Andrew to Eben, moved by their attempts to defend her.
“Show God’s love,” she told them softly. “They will see
it.” Andrew’s eyes filled with tears as she echoed his
her. Hope cast the two angels and her father a brave but
smile and let the two men lead her outside and to the waiting
Josiah sobbed and yelled. Andrew and Eben took a place on
side of him and did their best to comfort him as they heard the
of the jailer’s horses’ hoof beats fading. They got him to
bed and then Andrew set off on Starling, who was in an agitated
towards Nathan Wilken’s house. The man wept at hearing the
and readily returned to the Lewis place with Andrew. Once
Nathan did his best to take the part of the woman he loved and
“I have all ready started an appeal to the governor for my
sir. I will do the same for Hope. Unceasingly.
she is free,” Nathan vowed. “Until they all are.”
Eben stood at the window of Josiah’s room. Andrew went to
placed a hand on his shoulder.
He began to speak softly to him. “Eben, don’t
yet. Hope has a very powerful ally in her corner.
God. Further, she has a passionate defender in
love… it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all…”
Eben shook off Andrew’s hand. “Don’t quote that to me
Don’t. There is no love in that meetinghouse,
that is where Hope will be.” Eben left the room then and
saw him appear a few moments later on the ground outside.
wandered into the fields. Andrew considered going to him
didn’t seem to want his company then. Seeing that Josiah
Nathan were planning amongst themselves, Andrew walked across
to his room. He sat on the bed, head in his hands, and
“Father, why did you send me here? I thought it was for
now they’ve taken her away and I’m still here! How do I
here as this town destroys itself? As they try to destroy
Father!” Andrew cried out. “Please, make them see… make
the truth. And until that is accomplished… use me.
to do your will, Father.”
As he finished his fervent prayer, a great peace washed over
Andrew. The room around him faded and he found himself in
cramped, dark, cold cell. His heart ached for the people
into the room. Men, women, and, worst of all,
Some wept, some yelled, some sat in stunned silence. He
for each of them, resting a hand on their heads as he
made his way to the back corner where he saw Hope. She
prayer. Andrew settled beside her.
She looked at him and her eyes grew wide.
Andrew smiled softly. “Neither say nor do anything,
The others should not see you speaking to me.” He read the
question in her eyes. “I am an angel, Hope. That is
can be here unseen. And that is why you must not speak to
me. It will raise suspicion against you. God loves
Hope. And He is greatly proud of you. When all
were hate and suspicion you… you showed love, Hope! When
myself and Eben, an angel sent to aid your father, felt anger
in us… you called us to show love.” Tears filled Andrew’s
well as Hope’s. The angel rested his hand over hers as she
her head and her tears fell. “I cannot tell what will
happen. But we all pray for you. Nathan, also.
with your father now. Dear Hope, remember God is with you
this all. And know I will be here all this night and every
that you are here. Tomorrow, during your hearing, I will
my human form. I will be there with your father, with
with Eben. Know that we are, all four of us, there to
you. We love you, each in our own ways. Believe,
no matter what happens God’s love will carry you home.”
smiled through his tears and wrapped his arms around the young
she grew peaceful and fell asleep.
With dawn break, Andrew parted from Hope and reappeared back in
room at Josiah’s. He heard noise in the kitchen and went
downstairs. There he found Eben slicing some pumpkin pie
baked the previous day. He was turning back to the stairs
“Good, you’re back. Could you please take this to Josiah
Andrew nodded and held his hand out to accept the plate.
course but where are you going?”
“I have business in town.” Eben did not meet Andrew’s
Andrew grew concerned. He worried for his friend who had
silent the previous evening and now seemed to have some secret
mind. “I think Josiah, your assignment, would prefer we
into town together later. A show of support for Hope
“I’ll support Hope in my own way,” Eben answered shortly.
Andrew stood up to his full height. “Hope is my assignment
I’d like to know what you intend…”
“To give her my name! And yours, too, if you’ll allow
That is the way of it, isn’t it? Give names, you’re
Eben’s mouth twisted into a grim smile. “Of course, we’ll
regardless thus she can have our names. They can haul us
hearing after hearing, a proper trial, hang us from those
gallows! They want a supernatural experience? We’ll
one when our necks fail to snap as their cruel will desires!”
Andrew was horrified by Eben’s macabre suggestion. “You,
of God, intend to induce a good girl like Hope to lie?
“It’s a better suggestion then bidding her go about to the
families! You put your assignment at risk. She sits
cell because of you! And if it takes a lie to get her back
“At what cost, Eben?! Every name they get only encourages
pursuit! Your plot will undoubtedly bring us into that
who else? Josiah? Nathan? Each cry of witch
encourages more such accusations!” Andrew cried, hot tears
Something of the fire in Eben’s eyes began to die. He
Josiah’s breakfast from Andrew and with out another word tore up
staircase. Andrew heard him greet their host. He
sigh of relief. Eben had been stalled at least.
hoped and prayed it was a plot dreamed up in a moment of
pain and that his friend would not speak of it again. But
words rang in Andrew’s mind and tore at his heart.
“She sits in that cell because of you!”
That morning the judges heard several accusations. Around
they took an hour long break. Hope’s case was the first
afterwards. The meetinghouse was filled with on-lookers,
court officials, the accusers, and the two men and two angels
there to support Hope. When she entered there were hisses
angry cries from the crowd. Tears stung her eyes as she
hateful words. But above them all she heard one gentle,
“Remember God loves you and we are here, Hope,” Andrew’s voice
to her ear. Hope felt warm and comforted as her gaze fell
angel, Eben, Nathan, and her father. They all looked
lovingly at her. Heartened by this, she was able to look
into the judges’ eyes as they began to question her.
“Hope Lewis, Leah Harding charges that she hath seen you with
Devil. That you signed his book and now align yourself
and practice witchcraft against the good people of Shiloh.
follow the Devil?”
Hope stood tall. “For what reason would I follow the
God has so richly blessed me with His love. Why would I
any master but our beloved Father, sir?” Her face shown as
spoke and the judges seemed moved by her words.
One of the judges shuffled in his seat, ill-at-ease then.
say you have not harmed any of those here who suffer?”
Hope looked with compassion at the Hardings, Smalls, and
“I vow I have not. I am innocent of these charges and pray
that they will soon be well.”
Leah Harding noted the judges being swayed by Hope’s
nudged her cousin Hannah who sat beside her. At once both
began to writhe in agony. Soon the whole section
“It is so cold! She makes it cold!” Leah cried. Then
eyes grew wide and she stared at something no one else could
“No, Hope… please no Hope. Do not have your specter kill
me! You cannot want that truly!” Leah began to gag
Hannah screamed and began thrashing about. Then suddenly
swooned to the floor.
Andrew and Eben watched in horror as Henry materialized beside
“What is going on?” Eben whispered frantically to Andrew.
Andrew shook his head, unable to answer. The din grew
quiet. Leah Harding stooped beside her cousin. She
out and for once Andrew sensed no artifice in it.
“She is dead!” Leah screamed and jumped away.
Andrew and Eben looked on as Henry took the girl’s hand and
with her spirit.
Rebecca Small began to weep and wail and clung to her
Grady rushed forward to examine the girl. He felt for a
heart beat. He shook his head and then nodded to the
They turned a harsh eye on Hope then. For her part, she
looked sadly at the small, still body and the grieving
hadn’t occurred to her to think of herself then.
Leah, red-faced and shaking, stood and pointed to Hope.
witch hath killed poor Hannah! You all saw it! You
“No!” Josiah jumped up and yelled. “Twas your shameful
performance! You exhausted the poor child!”
The crowd roared and spit curses at Hope. Eben and Nathan
Josiah before he fell back onto the bench. Andrew focused
Hope, willing kind words to her.
“Do you still deny you are a witch?” a judge demanded. “Do
deny you murdered that child who lays there now?”
Hope turned to face them. “I am a Christian and would
nor torment nor align myself with the Devil! I am
I know not what killed poor Hannah but it was not I! It
The judges and jury spoke briefly as Hannah’s body was carried
her wretched parents followed. Their decision came rapidly
“We have declared this no longer a hearing but a trial.
Lewis, we find thee guilty of witchcraft and the supernatural
Small. Thou art sentenced to be hung tomorrow at dawn.”
The words hung in the air and were met with riotous cheers from
crowd. Hope began to faint but was caught by one of the
and dragged out of the room. Amidst the morbid jubilation,
angels and two men sat devastated.
As he finished telling of that harrowing day, Andrew’s facade
last. Tears rolled down Andrew’s face and he made no
hide his pain from his friends. Some of them were crying
also. Those near him reached out to him, hoping to bestow
consolation. Adam, long since grown accustomed to the
the Dyelanders, pulled packets of tissues from the pockets of
jacket and passed them around.
JenniAnn looked up at him as he handed her one. “This is
meant,” she whispered and attempted a smile but it
“Thank you, Adam,” Andrew’s cracked voice came as he wiped away
Lady Beth still sat beside him, shaking her head. “How…
really wrong with Hannah?”
Andrew took a deep, steadying breath. “Josiah had guessed
right. The girl had a hole in her heart. Of course
knew that then. The stress of their charade… it eventually
too much for her. She died doing her parents’ horrible
will. And yet they cried out against Hope for it…
good Hope.” Andrew bowed his head and his shoulders began
“Andrew… please, I think you need to rest,” Lady Beth urged him
and put an arm around his shoulders.
Andrew sat up and shook his head. “It must be told!
the only one left to tell it.”
There was the sound of approaching footsteps then. The
“No, you’re not. I was there, Andrew. I can tell the
if you’ll let me,” Henry offered, ducking inside. Adam
at him with relief. He knew Andrew would not let the story
unfinished but he also could see he could hardly bear to tell
Andrew nodded. “Thank you, Henry.”
“You’re welcome.” He gave Andrew a kind smile then turned
listeners. “I was there and heard and saw much of what
you for myself. The rest I have on Highest Authority.”
The group nodded, accepting this.
“Andrew, Eben, Nathan, and Josiah had no choice but to return to
homestead. They supported each other as best they
When nightfall came, Andrew returned to the cell. He was…
everything an angel should be then,” Henry smiled proudly at his
Hope sat alone at the rear of the cell. While all the rest
cramped together in the small cell, she had an abundance of
After word of Hannah’s death came to them, they shunned
few who had still spoken to her, Constance Wilkens among them,
urged not to. Her fate was set and in speaking to her they
risked their own. She was cold, tired, lonely, and
terrified. She rallied a bit when she saw Andrew
her. He was bathed in light and wearing the breeches he
he’d first arrived and a shirt she’d mended for him many times
his arrival. Her worried countenance melted into a fond
she reached up to him. She craved a gentle touch from
loved after her day of abuse and neglect.
“Andrew!” she cried happily and hugged him when he knelt beside
Andrew shook his head. “Shh…” He indicated the other
prisoners, briefly making eye contact with Henry who moved
Hope gave a bitter laugh. “What can they do to me now,
Andrew? Kill me a while earlier than dawn?”
Andrew bowed his head. A tear rolled down his cheek and to
Hope lifted his chin and peered into his eyes. “Please,
let me speak freely with you.”
Andrew nodded and returned her gaze. “Yes, of course,
“Thank you,” Hope answered. “How is my father? And
Andrew took in a deep breath and took her hand in his. “I
you could hear them, Hope. Right now they are pleading
to the court.”
“It is of no use,” Hope interjected sadly.
Andrew frowned, he could not deny it. “They need to try,
their own sakes. Your father speaks so proudly of
tells about how you help him around the house and the
your joyful and considerate spirit. How you can always
him. Eben is telling them about… about your apple
grinned and Hope laughed quietly then she shook with a sob she
“Your words hurt because I know I will soon leave my father but
also make me feel loved. Go on, friend, please.”
Andrew listened for a moment then continued.
Nathan is telling them how he wishes to marry you. That
known only sweetness and love and charity from you.”
Hope bowed her head and allowed the tears to fall then.
will you carry my words to them?”
“I will, Hope. It… it would be an honor to do that for
Hope closed her eyes for a moment and thought of exactly what
wanted to send them. “Tell Eben that, as long as Heaven
it, I will bake him an apple pie as soon as we are both
Tell him I am so grateful for the care he has shown to my
father.” Andrew nodded and she continued. “Tell
is my prayer that he go on to live a happy life. And that
know… I loved him, too, and would have liked to have said
would marry him.” She began to cry harder then and leaned
the angel. “And please, Andrew, tell my father I will
his little girl and I am so very grateful for our life
Andrew was crying openly then, too. “I promise, Hope, I
them these things exactly as you have told me.”
“Please, stand by my father and Nathan and Eben tomorrow.
all ready another of your friends will be with me.” Hope
across the room at Henry who gave her a friendly smile.
looked also at his fellow angel then back at Hope and
Hope took another deep breath, steadying her voice. “I
“Tell it to me and I will deliver it,” Andrew answered, unsure
else she would want to send a message to.
Hope hugged him once again then drew back to look into his
eyes. “I just want you to know your presence has been a
since you arrived, Andrew. I… I can see in your eyes that
feel as if you have failed me. You have not, my friend,
not. I pray that you know that.”
Fresh tears brimmed in his eyes and Andrew held Hope to
“Believe it, it is true,” she murmured.
“I will believe it because you have always spoken the truth,” he
responded, his voice husky with emotion.
Hope was growing weary and snuggled into his doublet. “I
“Tell me about Heaven, please.”
And so Andrew told her about all the wonder, beauty, and most of
love that awaited her. He poured out all that he loved
his Home and his Father. As Hope listened to his soothing
and assuring words, she drifted to sleep. Andrew kept
the whole night.
Hope woke to the hoot of an owl and then the ominous sound of
being unlocked. She turned to Andrew who hugged her once
“Tis time. Come along,” the jailer barked and yanked Hope
up. Andrew still kept beside her.
“Do not forget, you will be Home soon. Home with your
Father and your mother. There is so much love awaiting
Hope!” Andrew encouraged.
Hope was very calm. “Thank you,” she whispered, not
alarm the jailer, and looked softly at Andrew. Then the
pulled her away and into a small building to await the arrival
executioner and the others who needed to be on the scene for the
hanging to proceed.
Henry appeared beside Andrew then and put an arm around his
shoulders. “I heard how you comforted Hope last night,
Andrew. God couldn’t have chosen a better angel to be with
her.” He could see the anguish on Andrew’s face and tried
comfort him in at least a small way.
“Thank you, Henry. Could you… could you do one thing for
“I’ll try. What is it?”
“Wait here, please.” Andrew disappeared then. When
returned it was with Starling. Andrew brushed at tears as
his request of Henry. “When you take her Home… take
too. She loves him and… and I want her to have him with
then. And always.” Andrew stroked the horse’s mane
whispered in his ear that he would be Hope’s now. Starling
to sense the import of this moment and nuzzled Andrew then went
Henry was very moved by this request and readily nodded in
agreement. He hugged his friend then led the horse away.
Andrew tried to calm himself and then walked towards the
Soon he was joined by the sad party of Nathan, Josiah, and
The four huddled together as the crowd grew and stood
waiting beneath the dreary sky. Josiah wept profusely and
on Nathan who only stared ahead, his heart broken. An
on either side of them, guarding them from the curious,
Hope was led out. Josiah cried out as if in pain when the
was put around her neck. The reverend called for her last
Serene, Hope looked out to the crowd. Her gaze fell on the
Hardings and Paines and Smalls. She looked at them,
the children, with sadness and her voice did not waver as she
“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
Then she looked to her father, Nathan, Eben, and Andrew.
She said nothing to them but her eyes spoke of more love than
ever could. Then, last of all, she recited the Lord’s
The crowd began to grow nervous. Some began to cry.
end came anyway.
Andrew bowed his head and prayed. When he looked up he saw
astride Starling, with Henry also on horseback at her side,
disappearing into Eternity.
Josiah aged a decade on that day. Nathan practically
back to the house. He was put to bed, delirious with
Andrew, Eben, and Nathan hovered over him. At noon Eben
prepare lunch. When he was a long time in returning to
room, Andrew went to the kitchen to check on him. He found
with his head on the table, staring.
Andrew immediately sat beside him and rested one hand on his
shaking shoulder. “Eben, please speak to me. You’ve
said anything since Hope was arrested. It’s not good to
Eben laughed darkly and sat up. “And what about any of
“Hope is safe and happy. That’s good.” Andrew’s own
betrayed sorrow but he clung to that fact. Hope was in
Heaven. “Eben, you can’t forget that!”
“She should be safe and happy here, Andrew. I can’t even
decent porridge to feed her father!” Eben gestured to a
Andrew sighed. “I feel great sadness, too, Eben. We
do. Now let’s go upstairs. There are some things I
tell you all. Things Hope wanted me to.”
The two angels went upstairs where Andrew revealed himself to be
angel. He related Hope’s last messages to them. They
and spoke of her together.
Once the sun had set, Andrew and Nathan made their way back to
village while Eben stayed with Josiah. Nathan followed
knew exactly where they were headed. He had been there
the night of Anna Jacobs’ hanging. Her body had been flung
ditch in the woods. Andrew had went there to bury her and
went again with Nathan for Hope’s sake. Nathan moaned and
when they found her. They gently set the body into the
had brought and took a path through the woods back to
Eben helped Josiah to come outside. He wept and prayed
child then asked Andrew, Nathan, and Eben to bury her beneath
willow tree. They did, wanting to do whatever they could
Josiah’s pain and honor Hope. When they were finished they
around the grave.
Andrew began to pray. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside
still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the
righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk
valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art
me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…” The others
and then carefully brought Josiah back into his home. The
prayed unceasingly for him through that night.
Shortly after dawn Andrew looked up from his prayers. He
at Josiah whose eyes were closed. His breathing was
labored. Eben got up from his chair and knelt beside his
assignment and took his hand.
“Hope…” the old man’s voice called.
Nathan began to cry and shook his head, hurt to think the man
calling for someone who could not answer.
“Hope!” Josiah cried again, this time his voice lighter.
“She is here,” Andrew whispered then smiled up at Hope and
Hope set a comforting hand on Nathan’s shoulder then moved to
“Papa,” she spoke softly and caressed his face. “It is
time. Oh Papa, it is so beautiful and Mama is there and so
people eager to see you!”
“Are you ready, Mr. Lewis?” Henry asked with a bright smile.
“Aye, very ready.” Then Josiah breathed his last.
bowed his head and wept grateful tears along with Andrew.
they looked up, Eben was no where to be found.
Though his assignment was finished, Andrew returned to the
week later. It pained him to be there with Josiah and Hope
gone but he wanted to check on Nathan. He went to his
smiled when Constance met him at the door. Hope’s
not set well with the villagers after they had witnessed her
prayers. The tide turned against the accusers and those
imprisoned were set free. Andrew heard all this from
thanked God for it.
After he left the Wilkens, Andrew found himself walking the path
Lewises’. Once there he walked through the house,
the good times there. He made his way to the room that had
his and thanked the Father for the kindness and the love of
Hope. He exited the house and made his way to the willow
tree. He offered up a prayer of thanksgiving at Hope’s
the end of the madness and hoped it would not soon be repeated
elsewhere. Andrew was walking away from the tree and about
return Home when he was pushed to the ground. Stunned, he
up and found himself facing Eben.
The other angel looked frightful. His clothes were ragged,
eyes rimmed in red, and his face gaunt.
Andrew got to his feet then held his hand out. “Eben, you
go Home. It’s not good for you to stay here.”
“To think I was happy when you came here! I thought I’d
help. I wish you’d never come!” Eben shouted and ran at
Andrew braced himself and held the other angel back.
don’t know what…”
“You’re the reason she was gallivanting around to people’s
You’re the reason they killed Hope!”
Andrew shook his head. “Eben, no… She was
discouraged. She wanted a way to help others. She
help others. She told me that.”
“It shouldn’t have happened! He… He shouldn’t have let it
happen!” Eben glared up at the heavens, his fists clenched.
“Oh Eben, the Father didn’t want it to but He gave humanity free
and… and… sometimes they do evil with it. Eben,
Home with me. Hope would hate to think you were doing this
yourself for her sake.”
Eben shook his head and moved away from Andrew. He cast
defeated look at Andrew then darted away. Andrew started
him. Eben’s eyes were burned into his memory. Andrew
to deny what he saw there. Not even anger had flickered in
blue eyes in that last moment. Not pain.
Andrew moved to run after his friend but a strong hand kept him
“No Andrew, where he’s chosen to go you don’t want to follow,”
melancholy voice sounded from behind him.
Andrew turned around, his eyes rapidly filling with tears.
mean he’s… No Sam…”
“Don’t blame yourself, Andrew. Eben had chance after
reach out and accept your help. The Father tried to
but Eben wouldn’t listen to Him, either. He’s made his
Andrew, sorry as it is,” Sam explained sympathetically.
let his hopelessness and confusion consume you.”
Andrew nodded tearfully and looked up to the calm, clear
closed his eyes and said a prayer for his friend and then
Heaven with Sam.
There was silence as Henry finished speaking.
“Thank you,” Andrew leaned over and told him quietly.
Adam recovered his speech next and shook his head. “I
believe neither of you ever told me this.”
Henry shrugged. “We all have assignments we’d rather not
about. But I guess it was time to make this one known.”
Adam nodded, he well understood that.
“What happened to everyone?” Bunny asked Andrew. “I mean,
can tell us.”
Andrew had slumped further against the tree as Henry had
telling Hope’s story but he sat up. “The accusers had a
of it after that. They were forced out of the village once
everyone realized what their intent had been. The adults
out the rest of the lives in bitterness and shame. The
thankfully, realized after some time that they had been used as
and made peace with themselves. Which was good because it
what Hope and Anna wanted. Another of Hope’s prayers came
also. Nathan did go on to have a happy life. He
for over two years, eventually leaving the town to escape the
memories, taking his mother with him. He met a thoughtful
woman, Elizabeth, in the town they settled in. They
had several children. The first was a girl whom they named
“And Eben? Why…” JenniAnn’s voice left off.
Andrew sighed. “With Hope’s arrest he lost his faith in me
friend,” Andrew sensed JenniAnn was about to object but he
continued. “I know it wasn’t my fault. I promised
would try not to think that and, with time, I no longer
when she was killed, Eben lost his faith in humanity. It
much time after that he lost his trust in their Creator.
Creator. And in that state… he saw no other choice but to
“I’m sorry, Andrew,” Lady Beth patted his arm.
“Thanks. So that’s why I acted the way I did when I saw
set. It just… it brought a lot back.” Andrew smiled
at each of them.
Miss Miriam responded with a sympathetic smile. “We could
choose a different play. Something light, perhaps!”
Andrew adamantly shook his head. “No, even though the play
historically accurate it still speaks to the issues the witch
involved. And those are important issues that everyone
know about. Questions that everyone needs to ask.
that I’ve finally spoken of this I hope I can watch your
Thank you, all of you, for listening.”
JenniAnn moved to hug him. “No, thank you for telling
Not only am I glad that now, in some way, I know Hope and Josiah
Nathan but… it made me appreciate more my friends and my family
friends who are like family.” She looked over her shoulder
Adam who smiled back.
“And it made me realize not to take the time we have for
To not put things off because you never know how long you have
someone you love.” Nadia cast a meaningful look at Danny
her hand in his.
Lady Beth added, “It’s also made me see how wonderful it is that
have each other to talk to about things that trouble us.”
crowd nodded in agreement and smiled at each other.
It was nearly midnight then and everyone had grown weary.
sorry to part, the group eventually dispersed, several people
to hug the angels of death for whom they now felt an even
appreciation. Adam, Andrew, and Henry lingered beneath the
tree a while longer, keeping silent company as they each
assignments that had touched them. But eventually they,
their good byes. Adam headed Home, Henry to an assignment,
Andrew back to his Dyeland residence, Serendipity. He took
his jacket and flung it on a chair then plopped down onto his
couch. His dog, Lulu, leapt up beside him and curled up on
chest. Andrew smiled and pet the dog’s head then closed
and thought about those happy evenings amongst Josiah, Hope, and
Eben. Suddenly Andrew began to wonder if at some point in
emotional telling of the story his wits had left him. He
swear he could smell Hope’s apple pie. Andrew sat up and
the scent. He stared in amazement at the apple pie that
his kitchen table. Beside it was a note.
“Just for you, my friend. Of course… if you’re inclined to
a certain equine friend and myself are waiting beneath your
tree. With love, Hope.”
Andrew grinned from ear to ear, grabbed the pie, coaxed Lulu off
couch, and returned back to the willow tree. Sure enough,
its swaying branches stood Hope with Starling beside her.
young woman was dressed in jeans and a sweater, a style she
enjoyed. She hugged Andrew and stooped to pet Lulu.
Hope gave her attention back to Andrew.
“Thank you for telling our story. Yours, mine, Papa’s,
Eben’s… I wish he were here.” She frowned but then
hugged her remaining friend.
“Maybe some day he’ll be back with us. There’s always
“Yes, always hope.” Hope smiled then the two dug into the
sharing with both Lulu and Starling.
Andrew offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to his Father for
wondrous moment. A moment later, he and Hope smiled at
when they heard a dove coo then fly from the willow’s branches
the starry sky.
~The lines from The
taken from this edition: Miller, Arthur. The
York: Penguin Books, 1981.
~All Bible passages are from the King James version of the
Bible at BibleGateway.com.
~Adam, Andrew, Henry, Sam, and Tess are owned by Martha
Moonwater Productions, and the various people that brought
you Touched by an Angel.
Dyelanders are owned by their various creators (Miriam, Liz,
~Eben is my own creation as is everyone from
~Special thanks to Liz for proofreading this and for her
~I will be working on Jenni’s
on “For Thou Art With Me”. I didn't have time to
finish it but you can see what I have all ready written
explain some of the decisions I made in writing this story
and list all
the stuff I watched/ read/ skimmed for research.
~If you have any questions or comments, please
let me know.
I do allude to some past events (i.e. Andrew's murder trial)
not make sense to newer readers of JABB. You might
also want to
check out the JABB
Encyclopedia for clarification.
Thank you and God bless,
(Photo Credits: The dove photograph used on this
page is from
"Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions,
Productions, and Moon Water Productions. It is not
being used to
seek profit. The willow photograph was taken by