The minister is praying because his young daughter Betty seems to be sick; she cannot wake up, and she has been like this since the night before. Last night, Parris "discovered" Betty and Abigail, his niece, "dancing like heathen in the forest." They were with his slave, a woman named Tituba, and she was swaying and chanting over the fire in her native language. Moreover, the girls were dancing and singing around the fire, upon which there was a pot of some liquid boiling, and Parris says that he even saw "some movement" in the liquid. Further, he saw one of the girls running naked through the trees. Betty has been ill since Parris surprised them all, when she fainted. She has not awoken since then, and this has led to Parris's fear that there may be some unnatural cause of her illness.