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It's the spring of 1692. The whole village of Salem is in an uproar.
The Reverend Samuel Parris' daughter Betty won't wake up, and the
Putnams' little Ruth is walking around like a zombie. The night
before, Reverend Parris had heard a funny noise in the woods outside
his house, and stumbled onto a frightening scene: his black slave
Tituba was waving her arms over a boiling kettle, muttering wild-sounding
gibberish, and around the fire a dozen girls were dancing-dancing,
strictly forbidden by Puritan law. Among the girls were Betty and
Ruth and his niece Abigail Williams. When he jumped out on them,
everyone screamed and ran, all except Betty, who fainted dead away.
And now she won't wake up.
Booknotes about The Crucible: