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Dorcas Good, the four year old daughter of Sarah Good, who was hanged as a witch in Salem, MA, is arrested and taken to prison, herself being accused of being a witch. Mistreated by her cruel father and others in Salem, she learns to endure physical, emotional and sexual abuses. Befriended by the pirate Jack Quelch, Dorcas is finally rescued from the dark dank prison, but not before suffering permanent emotiional damage.
The novel, written in diary form, allows the reader to experience the flavor of life in 1692 Salem, and finally tell the real stoiry of the savagery and terror of the Salem Witch Trials. It is probably the first recorded case of child abuse in this country.
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Rose Earhart holds degrees in both psychology and philosophy.She has been a principal dancer with the Chicago City Ballet, a teacher, an actress with stage movie and TV credits, and a newspaper columnist. She prides herself as being an activist for children's rights. A first cousin, once removed, of Amelia Earhart, Rose lives in an old Victorian house with her family in Salem, Massachusetts. The house is a nightly haven to Salemites, both ghostly and real.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
"Dorcas Good, you lazy bitch, come help me with this wood!"
I jumped up quickly at the sound of my father's voice and tried with all my might to raise the rude wooden latch that held our door shut. It took me several times, but I finally managed to open the heavy door and let my father in.
"What took you so long," yelled my father as he dropped the wood. Before I could duck he raised his large heavy hand and slapped me hard on the side of my face. I stood very still, knowing that if I ran from him he would only catch me and beat me until I couldn't stand.
"I'm sorry Father," I said, knowing that these were the words he wanted to hear. No excuse was fine enough for William Good when he was drunk and angry. It mattered not that I was only four and couldn't reach the door. I must do what he said, impossible though it may be, or suffer the consequences.
"Then let's see how sorry you are, you useless piece of fodder. Pick up that wood and stack it by the fire. I swear you are almost as useless as your mother."
I trembled as I turned to the wood. The pieces were large and I knew that if I tried to drag them Father would hit me again. I took a great breath and managed to get the first log into my arms as my small body screamed with pain. But the pain in my body was nothing compared to the dread in my soul.
"Oh God," I whispered silently, "don't let him hurt Mama. She is not well and the baby is too small to be hit. I promise that if you keep Mama safe I'll be good and not cry when Father hits me."
"Where's my dinner, you slattern," I heard Father say to Mama.
"I'll get it Father," I said as I ran as fast as I could. I knew from experience that if I got my body between him and Mama he might hit me first.
"Lay down, Father, and I'll bring you some soup and bread right away," I said, putting my small hand upon his brown woolen sleeve and tugging him towards the bedroom.
"There's my girl," said Father smiling at me strangely. "you do just that and I'll let your mother be. She's no use to me as she is now anyway. You just bring me my victuals and I'll leave Mama alone."
"If you touch her I swear I'll kill you," cried Mama grabbing me suddenly and hiding me behind her skirt.
"I'll do as I wish in my own home or see you both whipped for insolence," said Father shoving Mama against a wall and holding his long knife to her throat. "If you want her to live through this night you'll keep your useless mouth shut and stay out of my way. It's time she earned her keep around here."
Somehow Mama managed to knock the knife from his hands and they began to struggle. "Father, Father, stop! I'll go with you. I'll be good, I promise!" I cried as my father threw Mama to the floor and began beating her head against the frozen earth.
"You had better be," growled my father as he picked me up and carried me into the bedroom. From over his shoulder I could see Mama lying on the floor not making a move.
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Book Description Pendleton Books, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111893221024
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