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In chapter 9, Kit and Mercy are teaching elementary school children to read at the dame school. Mercy is patient, but Kit is not. She gets frustrated and decides to make up lessons using the children’s names in rhyme. They are fascinated. Then she has them act out Bible stories, not knowing that the townspeople do not approve of this.
But Kit had made one mistake. She had picked her characters too hastily. By chance she had chosen the three most obstreperous pupils in the school to be her thieves and robbers. (p. 88)
Kit is fired (but she talks them into rehiring her), and she runs to the meadow where she meets Hannah, an old woman who lives by the pond. Everyone thinks she’s a witch, but she is really just a lonely old lady.
In chapter 11, Kit secretly agrees to teach Prudence to read. This is important because it is one of the issues that will come up later at her trial when she is accused of being a witch. Prudence’s parents think she is too dumb to read, but Kit disagrees. She arranges to meet the little girl by the meadow. When Prudence worries about the witch, Kit sets her straight.
She’s a gentle old woman who wouldn’t harm a field mouse. (p. 114)
In chapter 12, Kit goes to visit Hannah. She tells Mercy, who surprisingly gives her a piece of tart to share with the lonely old woman everyone thinks is a witch. Nat has been helping Hannah, and he and Kit talk about politics. Kit asks why Nat is not loyal to the King.
If the King respects our rights and keeps his word to us, then he will retain our loyalty. But if he revokes the laws he made …., then finally we will be forced to cut the hasser! (p. 129)
Kit accuses Nat of treason, but he tells her “a man is loyal to the place he loves” (p. 129).
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