In The Crucible, what upsetting news does Mary Warren bring from court?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mary Warren brings home some unsettling news from the courts.  The news is that Elizabeth Proctor's name has been "somewhat mentioned" in the court proceedings.  This is just bad news, because so far anybody that has been suspected of witchcraft has been arrested to be put on trial for their life.  

Elizabeth, softly: I am accused?

Mary Warren, quaking: Somewhat mentioned. But I said I never see no sign you ever sent your spirit out to hurt no one, and seeing I do live so closely with you, they dismissed it. 

What is especially bad about Elizabeth being mentioned is that Elizabeth believes that soon she will be formally accused of witchcraft by Abigail Williams.  Elizabeth believes that Abigail is going to use the court system to have Elizabeth executed.  That will make John Proctor a single man, and Elizabeth knows full well that Abigail Williams has her eyes set on John as a lover or future husband.  The reader can agree with these fears, because at this point in the story the reader knows that John and Abigail had an affair together.