Elizabeth folded her hands neatly on her freshly pressed apron and fixed a severe, sorrowfull look upon her freckled face. Her mother pressed her sleeve against her face, sobbing quietly.
She patted her mother comfortingly on the shoulder but did not look away from Judge Charles, who stood with his arms crossed at the riverbank, a smirk playing across his features.
"Innocent," declared a priest nervously, nodding to the Judge. He nodded in reply and the priest scurried away hurridley. The assembled villagers began to disperse along with their priest, shaking their heads and frowning.
Elizabeth stayed a little while longer, watching the grey river that had just swallowed up her grandmother. Her face had been so serene and scathing as they tied up her shrivled hands, placed a weight around her scrawny neck.
Even when the water engulfed her grey head, she uttered not a moan nor a cry. It wasn't a common sight at a trial of a witch.
Her Mother pulled on her coarse woolen sleeve and Elizabeth accompanied her stumbling mother up the lane to their ramshakle cottage, where Father awaited them.
He tutted and tugged his beard worridley as he watched his grieving wife collapse on the grass outside, weeping. "What has become of this place?" He muttered, half to himself.
Elizabeth shrugged demurley, and he scowled at me, angry more at the witch hunter than at his daughter. "Essex used to be a half decent place to live," he told me. "But now every old lady with a cat is being thrown into a river, and still the crops fail and Mr James crippled leg won't heal. What is wrong with the world, Bessie?"