Violet Valo

The Crucible

ACT FIVE

It is now the spring after John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, and Martha Corey's hanging. By this time Reverend Hale had left to go back to his own village, only to some back everyone once in a while to check up on the state of the town or to listen to once of Reverend Parris' sermons. All in all, most of the talk had left along with Abigail Williams leaving.

Abigail Williams and Mary Warren had just returned to Salem. Their clothes were dirty and they were terribly skinny. While trying to get to Barbados things had not gone well for them. They were happy just to be back in Salem. The two girls had walked into the town only to see that it had remained the same while they were gone. The only real difference might have been some snow melting on the ground and a feeling that there were a few less people residing here. They were people that they knew they had helped condemn.

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, walking up to the church. She stops and thinks for a moment while listening to the music coming from the building. The voices could be heard singing songs of praise to God. The people sounded like their moods had been highly elevated ever since the witch trials had ended. Opening up the door and making sure she had everyone's attention she yells: "I'm back!"

PARRIS, everyone in the room grows silent as their singing is cut short. It seemed that just Abigail's entrance had made all the people in the room become uneasy, their attitudes completely changed. Muttering about her arrival begins. "What are you doing here?" He asks nervously.

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: "The devil had brought me out of Salem, but I have returned to God once more and come back to Salem as well. Just in the time I've been back Sprits have already thrown themselves upon me. There are still witches in Salem and God has bid me back here to show them to you."

Everyone in the church begins to speak in hushed tones to themselves about what could be going on.

PARRIS, holding up his hand to silence the church-goers: "How are you going to do that?"

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: "I will do it by clearing the names of the innocent and calling out the names of those that should have been accused earlier."

DANFORTH, now standing up in the midst of the people: "Who would the innocent be that were wrongly accused?"

ABIGAIL WILLAIMS: "Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, John Proctor," She stops to look around the room before continuing, "Where is John Proctor?"

ELIZABETH PROCTOR, now standing up as well: "John is dead."

DANFORTH, ignoring Elizabeth: "Who wasn't accused that should have been?"

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: "Putman and his wife, Reverend Hale and his wife, and lastly Elizabeth Proctor, who for some reason you, seem to not be able to keep in a jail."

PUTMAN, quickly getting to his feet: "How dare you accuse me?"

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: it is by God's will that I accuse you; I won't deny what God has told me to do."

HALE, getting up and joining them: "And how do you accuse me?"

PARRIS, now against Abigail: "Yes, how? Reverend Hale has done all he can to help the village. How do you think there is any sign of devil in him?"

ABIGAIL WILLAIMS, yelling now: "He knows more about witchcraft than anyone else. Who's to say that he isn't a witch himself?"

HALE: "I know more because I've studied the most out of anyone in the area. I've traveled and seen different witch cases from all around. In most places they would burn the accused witches and make them suffer until their death instead of a simple hanging. Even without that in consideration, I am a minister and you should know that the Devil cannot get to a minister."

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: "You allowed John Proctor, an innocent man, to be hanged. That sounds more like the Devil's work than something that would have been done by God's will."

HALE: "I did not condemn John Proctor! He condemned himself with his pride."

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: "Even if he did die for his pride instead of witchcraft it's still wrong. He was a good man, innocent of anything cruel. His wife should have been the one hanging."

DANFORTH, interrupting: "Elizabeth has been found innocent. Even if Proctor hadn't have been punished for witchcraft he would still have had to be punished for the crime of lechery he committed with you."

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, now becoming extremely defensive and it showing in her voice: "There is no proof of that!"

DANFORTH: "Aye, there is. John admitted it himself. If I recall correctly you have just claimed that he was a good man, John, and that he never did anything cruel. Surely a good man wouldn't lie, so why shouldn't we believe what he has openly confessed before his death?"

Pause.

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, calming: "Sir, he is a good man, but sometimes even good men lie."

DANFORTH, matching Abigail's tone: "There you are wrong. Good men need not lie."

HALE, joining the argument once more, but now taking Abigail's side: "He had to lie to confess to witchcraft. There are many good men and women even in this room that had to lie to save their own lives."

DANFORTH, to Abigail: "See, even if Proctor hadn't been executed for witchcraft he would have had to been punished for lechery and being a blasphemer. You could, and should, be punished for the same."

PARRIS, speaking rapidly and franticly: "Please, all of you, this is a church not a courtroom! If you're going to charge someone of something don't do it here."

DANFORTH, ignoring Parris' outburst: "For lechery you could get a whipping, maybe an 'A' on your clothes for the rest of your life. For blasphemy you might only get branded. You could admit to your crimes now and possibly get a lesser sentence or you can keep on with your lies and go to court instead and get a harsher punishment for not cooperating now."

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: "I will not admit to anything."

DANFORTH, solemnly: "Then perhaps we should leave to the court now."

HALE, sounding as angry as when John Proctor was sentenced for a crime that he didn't do, to Danforth: Haven't enough people been in court these last few months, all against their will, forced to confess something that they may or may not have done? Why should we start this again? Haven't enough people been hurt from the witch trails? Can't we finally put all of this behind us and start new?"

DANFORTH, to Hale: "Justice can never quit Reverend Hale. If we let it stop now it will come back even stronger as it did with the witches. If these were different crimes, if she was convicted of murder, would you still want it to pass with as much proof as we have now?"

Pause.

DANFORTH, continuing: "We would convict a murderer with blood on their hands. I see no reason why we shouldn't convict a blasphemer with a lie on their tongue."

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, to Danforth, trying to remain calm: "There is no lie on my tongue, sir."

DANFORTH, turning to Abigail: "You say there be no lie on your tongue but when you first came in you admitted to lying before. If that were a lie, and this are not, then you still lie either way. You've condemned yourself from the start."

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: "I do not lie now sir."

DANFORTH: "If you do not lie now, you lied then. Which is it?"

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: "I will not confess to either. If you make me confess to anything I will leave this church, never to return to Salem."

DANFORTH: "Fine. If you will not confess you may consider yourself banished from the village. Leave now."

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: instantly filled with rage: "You can't banish me!"

DANFORTH, remaining calm through her sudden anger: "It is either banishment or court. You may choose."

Everyone in the church stands up to stare at Abigail wondering what she is going to do next. Abigail stands silently for a few moments, and then without hesitation, she dramatically storms out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

The curtain closes.

She left to be hardly ever seen again until she was found in Boston, years later, working as a prostitute.

The End.