Study Guide

A Break With Charity Chapter 15

By Ann Rinaldi

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Chapter 15

The Cat and the Wheel

  • Susanna is speeding home after her depressing chat with Ann when Johnathan catches up with her. He's a good boyfriend and comforts her.
  • Back home, her dad has some swell news: a letter from big bro William has arrived, plus Mama English is going to be kept in a room at a tavern called the Cat and the Wheel instead of in jail.
  • Sadly, William is in jail now in Guadalupe; apparently he's on trial for piracy. But the real story is that his ship was taken over by pirates and then when they got to Guadeloupe they were all arrested.
  • Will has some good feelings about the future because a Massachusetts Bay Colony ship captain recognized his last name, so now William is crossing his fingers that he'll be heading home in a few months. In the meantime, there's word of a pretty French chick he's hoping to meet.
  • The next day, Mary and Susanna visit their mom in jail. Let's just say this isn't the easiest experience for these gals. But they get to chat with their mom, so that's cool.
  • Mama E tells her kiddos that she's been eavesdropping on the judges's conversations. She now knows the crazy stories the lying girls are telling about her, and she knows that the judges are having lots of disagreements.
  • Mama English also tells Susanna and Mary about the plan she and Papa English came up with: If Papa E is called a witch too, he is heading straight out of town and the sisters will stay with Elizabeth and Joseph Putnam. Okay, that sounds simple enough.
  • But the plan goes even further. Mama E says that whenever dad is caught, he'll already have set up plans for them to be held in jail in Boston instead of Salem, and for them to be able to wander about during the day and only be in jail at night. Mary and Susanna could join them in Boston and stay with friends then. While it's not ideal, at least they'd all be together, right?
  • Susanna has one problem with this plan: she wants to stay in Salem. If she gets the chance to tell the truth about the lying girls, she better take it, and she'll be around in case her big bro returns.
  • The three gals pray together, and then Mama E agrees to the plan.
  • That afternoon, Mama E goes to Salem Prison, which is the worst place ever.
  • Not long after, Johnathan warns the English family that dad is about to be arrested, so papa makes a run for it, and the gals head to the Putnam house.

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