Study Guide

A Break With Charity Chapter 23

By Ann Rinaldi

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Chapter 23

The Time Has Come

  • Reverend Pike is at Joseph and Elizabeth's kitchen table scribbling away; at one point, he makes Susanna take an oath that she's told the truth. Oh, and Johnathan is there, so Susanna must've filled him in on her secrets.
  • When Joe reads Pike's letter, he notices something odd: Susanna isn't mentioned at all. Pike says it isn't necessary to mention Susanna, but she has made a huge impact on his decision to stand up for accused witches, so that's cool.
  • Susanna is pretty relieved. She and Johnathan cuddle and kiss for the first time, and Joseph catches them in the act.
  • Joseph is cool, though, and Susanna thinks he's just the greatest.
  • Susanna switches gears back to the hangings. Apparently change doesn't happen super quickly in Salem, because they hang five more folks on August 19: John Willard, John Proctor, George Burroughs, George Jacobs, and Martha Carrier.
  • At the hanging, folks are upset because George Burroughs says the Lord's Prayer before he's killed. Since people believe that a witch can't say this prayer correctly, you can bet this stirs up some trouble. But worry not—Cotton Mather has a bogus explanation: the devil told George what to say.
  • Susanna is annoyed that things are moving so slowly, but Joseph says that's normal and there have been some good signs, like Magistrate Corwin not arresting his mother-in-law when she was accused of being a witch.
  • But the witch craze isn't ending just yet, and Giles Corey is pressed to death by stones on September 19.
  • Happily, Joseph has some better news. A super important guy named Thomas Brattle liked Pike's letter and wants to talk with Joseph and Susanna up in Boston.
  • So here's the good thing: on September 22, Susanna, Joseph, and Elizabeth all head to Brattle's place. Susanna tells this chap her story and he writes a letter that he'll distribute all over the place.
  • But there's some sour news too: on this same day, eight more accused witches in Salem are hanged: Mary Parker, Ann Pudeator, Alice Park, Mary Esty, Margaret Scot, Martha Corey, Wilmott Red, and Sam Wardwell.
  • Susanna spends the text two weeks in a tizzy, worried about what's happening but also hopeful.
  • Finally, the madness is over. It's October 9, and Brattle's letter is the new popular read. Once October 12 hits, Governor Phips has said he won't allow imprisonment for witchcraft anymore. Needless to say, Susanna, Johnathan, and their favorite Putnams are happy. But they're bummed, too, for the nineteen innocent folks that were killed.
  • By the time October 29 comes around, Susanna has some big life changes.
  • Life Change One: The Court of Oyer and Terminer is no more. Good riddance.
  • Life Change Two: Big bro William comes home; Susanna meets him at the docks and they hug for days.
  • But get this: the name of the boat big bro came home on is… the Amiable Tiger. What the what?

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