Tituba softened at the child’s misery. Abigail was the only one in the Parris family who missed her son. She was sorry at having suspected her of impermissible behavior with Akanni, when all they had shared was the first flickers of young love.
The hemp seed elixir did nothing for their hacking coughs. And Master shifted the household routine again, ordering Tituba to sleep with the girls in the loft.
“Tend them until the fevers break.”
Tituba stayed with the girls longer than necessary, not caring about unfinished or sloppily done chores. The recent disparagement from Master over the repetitive, tasteless meals meant nothing to her. If only she could see Akanni from a distance. More than once Tituba stopped amidst some toil, hoping blurry vision from tears, or a sudden darkening when the sun hid behind clouds, were preludes to locating him. She needed to know he was well until she got him back home.
Master announced his intention to escort the mistress to Goody Holton’s farm with a basket of food, since she had given birth the day before. Left alone in the parsonage with the children, Tituba bustled about to complete the list of tasks they left for her.
She was tending the children in the loft, while thinking about Akanni, and she jumped in surprise when little Ann Putnam poked her head through the ladder opening in the floor.
“My father wishes to speak to you.”
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