Study Guide

A Break With Charity Epilogue

By Ann Rinaldi

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  • We're back to the point where Ann is sitting in her old meetinghouse thinking about the bad old days.
  • She tells us that she stayed with the Putnams for a while, while her big bro lived in her parents's empty house. Since all their stuff was confiscated with the witch hullaballoo, William also decides to buy furniture to fill the house up because he's just the sweetest.
  • There's good news for the accused witches, too: there's now a new Superior Court to hear all the cases. What's cool is that this court won't accept spectral evidence and no one can be put to death, but the bummer is that they still find some folks guilty of witchcraft.
  • By the winter of 1692, things are pretty rough in Salem because crops are down. But Papa English is a caring dude so he sends down food from New York to help everyone out. Good deeds run in the family because William is pals with Joseph now and they're still fighting the good fight.
  • Spring of 1693 has good stuff brewing. Phips tells folks still in jail for witchcraft that they can head back home, plus Mama and Papa E come back, which has Susanna super stoked. Sadly, Mama English doesn't live long though, and she dies by the next winter.
  • But there are also marriages happening too. Mary gets hitched to Thomas and a few years later in 1697 Susanna and Johnathan tie the knot (by the way, they get married in real life, too).
  • And when William goes to Guadeloupe to fetch his girlfriend, Susanna joins in on the voyage. Yep—this girl goes to sea.
  • After all these details, Susanna brings us back to 1706. Well, she's kinda back in 1706. You see, she has a hard time forgetting what happened over a dozen years ago in Salem; even her dad is still angry sometimes.
  • In the meetinghouse, a bunch of relatives of the hanged individuals come in… and right behind them is Ann Putnam. Ann isn't looking too hot, since it's been a rough few years for her.
  • But Susanna still isn't in a forgiving mood. She can't stop thinking of her friends whose lives Ann helped ruin—many of them met a rough fate.
  • Tituba's fate: Poor Tituba was stuck in prison for a while and then became a slave again.
  • Abigail Hobbs's fate: Abigail is now a "disreputable woman" (Epilogue.37), which means she's most likely a prostitute.
  • John Dorich's fate: He disappeared off the wharf one day, and nobody knows where he went.
  • Dorcas Good's fate: This poor little girl went crazy and now she's homeless.
  • All in all there's a lot to be bummed about, but Reverend Green tries to turn things around by asking everyone to forgive Ann.
  • As Ann walks through the meetinghouse, folks reach out to her, which is pretty nice. Susanna is skeptical though, and thinks people are doing it more for Reverend Green than for Ann.
  • But when Ann comes to Susanna she holds out her hand too, and she actually tells Ann that she forgives her. When that's done, Susanna feels at peace.
  • Outside the meetinghouse, Susanna sees Joseph and Elizabeth. They now have five kids.
  • Susanna thinks about how she's happy that no one but Joseph, Elizabeth, and Johnathan know her part in the trials.
  • All in all, Susanna is feeling better, so that's cool, but there is one thing that she wants to chat with her hubby about: that whole Amiable Tiger business. You know, how the ship big bro William came home on is the very one Sam Endicott said he would. And Sam said he knew this because of Mary Bradbury, a supposed witch who was terrorizing that ship.
  • Johnathan says there are basically two options:
  • Option (1): Mary really was a witch.
  • Option (2): Sam knew because he was a seaman.
  • And Susanna goes with Option (1), though she's not one hundred percent sure.
  • There is one thing she's sure of, though: she's not going to do anything that would let the witch craze start again. This girl doesn't want to tempt fate for one single second. Good thinking, Sus.

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