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Chapter 2 ROGER NOWELL 罗杰·诺埃尔

John Law was ill because Alizon cursed him, and his son wanted Roger Nowell to question Alizon.Roger Nowell was a rich and important man in Lancashire, and he was the judge for all the villages near Pendle Hill.He lived at Read Hall, seven miles from Newchurch.

On the thirtieth day of March,Mr Nowell's men came to Malkin Tower.Mr Nowell wanted to see Alizon at once.

We walked from Malkin Tower to Read Hall: my sister Ali-zon,my brother James,and our mother,Elizabeth Device. I fol-lowed them because I didn' t want to stay at home with my grandmother. My grandmother was a difficult old woman, and I didn' t like her.

Read Hall was an old house with a big garden and many old trees.Mr Nowell's servant opened the door for us.

'Come in,'Mr Nowell said.He was a tall man with a lot of white hair.His black coat looked warm and expensive.

Alizon followed Mr Nowell into a room with a big fire.When I saw the fire, I wanted to go in,too!

'Are you cold,little one?'Mr Nowell asked me.'Come in,and sit near the fire.'

I went across the room and sat down on the floor, next to the wonderful, hot fire.

Mr Nowell sat behind a big fable. Two or three men, in black coats, stood near the window. Alizon stood in front of Mr Nowell. Her long hair was dirty, and her old dress looked dirti-er.

'Two weeks ago,on the eighteenth day of March, you met John Law near Colne,'Roger Nowell said.His voice was slow and careful.'Tell me about it.'

'I asked for money,'Alizon said.'The pedlar was very an-gry and I didn' t like him. I was angry, too, and I wanted him to die!'

' Tell me about your dog.'

“The dog is my friend.'Alizon said slowly.'I wanted a friend, and I found that dog two months ago. I told my grand-mother, and she liked the dog, too.'

'Did the dog run after the pedlar?'

'Yes, of course. I cursed the pedlar, and the dog ran after him!'Alizon said.' I'm sorry now, because Mr Law is ill.'

'She's a witch!'one of the men said quietly.

Roger Nowell stood up and walked across the room to the door.'James Device, come in. We want to question you.'

James came in and stood next to Alizon.James was thirteen years old, nearly a man, but he was afraid of many things. He began to cry.

'Don't be afraid,'Mr Nowell said.'we want you to talk abut your grandmother,Old Demdike.'

But Alizon wanted to talk.'Don' t ask him!' she said quick-ly.'I can tell you about my grandmother because I'm with her every minute of the day. I go with her from village to village. I go with her across Pendle Hill.She asks people for money and food, and I help her.'Alizon stopped.She looked at James, and then she looked at Mr Nowell.'She cursed a child once, and the child died later that year.'

'And you!'James said.'You cursed a child, too!Somebody told me!'James suddenly sat down on the floor and began to laugh loudly.

'Be quiet!'Roger Nowell said coldly.'Alizon Device,tell me the truth:did you curse a child?'

'Yes, I did,'Alizon cried.'The child called me a witch, and I was angry. I cursed the child,but I was sorry when the child died.'

James looked up at Alizon, his mouth open.'The child died,the child died,'he said again and again.

'Alizon Device,you cannot go home again,'Roger Nowell said slowly.'You must go to the prison at Read.'

'But I need Alizon!'my mother shouted angrily from the door.'She takes care of Old Demdike,my mother.'

I looked at my mother, at her red, angry face. I looked at Al-izon in her dirty dress, and at James on the floor with his mouth open.And then I looked at Mr Nowell:his brown eyes were warm, and his face was kind.

On the second day of April, Roger Nowell and his men came to Ashlar House, near the village of Fence. Mr Nowell wanted to talk to my grandmother, and we all went with her to Ashlar House. Fence was not far from Malkin Tower, and my grand-mother walked there easily.

Old Demdike was a little old woman with a fat face and no teeth.She was nearly eighty years old and she was a difficult old woman.Without Alizon,she was more difficult because my mother didn' t take care of her.

When I saw Mr Nowell again at Ashlar House, I felt happy.I looked at his kind face and his warm brown eyes, and I want-ed to be near him. But there were a lot of people in the room,and I was afraid to go to him.

'Old Demdike , I'm going to ask you some questions, 'Mr Nowell began.

Old Demdike was not afraid. She looked at all the men, in their expensive coats and hats. 'What can a poor old woman tell you rich men?'She laughed, and when she laughed I felt afraid.My grandmother was going to tell them everything!

And she did!

'Twenty years ago,I met the Devil,'Old Demdike said.'He was a boy called Tibb and he was my friend.Then a cat came to visit me—a beautiful cat—and then a dog.They were all my friends.'

Mr Nowell listened quietly to my grandmother, but some of the men began to talk angrily.

'Be careful,you rich men!'my grandmother cried.'I can curse you! I can kill people! I make clay pictures of people—man,woman or child.And when I break the clay,that man,woman or child dies!'

People began to shout.

' She' s a witch! She must die!'

'Say no more; she must die, with all her family!'

Roger Nowell stood up.'Be quiet!'He looked at the guards near the door.'Take her away,'he said.'Old Demdike and her granddaughter Alizon must go to the prison at Lancaster Castle.'

The guards took my grandmother by the arms and carried her out of the door and put her on a horse.Everyone ran out of Ashlar House.They ran after the horses and shouted:'Kill the witch!'

I looked for Mr Nowell, but he was on his horse, too, and he followed the guards quickly through the village.

Slowly, I followed my mother and James.Malkin Tower was my home, but I didn' t want to go back there. I was a little child, and I wanted someone kind to take care of me.

We stayed at home days, because we were afraid to go out.James sat in front of the fire, with his dog, and talked.'Lan-caster Castle, Lancaster Castle,' he said, again and again. My mother hit me and shouted at me because she was angry with the rich men.

But after three days,my mother suddenly said,'James!We' re hungry and we must eat!'

James didn' t answer.

My mother went across the room to James and pulled his hair.'Get up!'she shouted.'Go out and find food for us!Your father isn' t here now; you must find food for us.' She hit him over the head.

James stood up slowly.'Go out and find food,'he said.'I must go out and find food.'

It was dark, and James was out for hours. But in the morn-ing, he came back with a sheep.

'I went to Barley,'James said happily.'I got this sheep,and now we can eat.'

'Get up, Jennet!'my mother shouted 'Come and help me!'

It was Friday, the tenth day of April. My family had some friends, poor people, and on that day they came to Malkin Tower.They came and asked about Old Demdike and Alizon,and they stayed to eat and drink.

I helped my mother. We cooked the sheep over a big fire,and our visitors ate with us. At the same time, they drank.They sat by the fire and drank,and talked about Lancaster Castle.

'Let 's go there!'an old woman cried.'Let 's go to Lancast-er Castle and find Old Demdike and Alizon!'

'We can curse the guards, and break down the door!' my mother said.

'Let' s bring them home!' said an old man.

'Jennet,bring the bottle! We need more drink!'shouted my mother.

I got up and took more drink to my mother.But I fell over one of the dogs, and the bottle broke on the floor. The drink was gone!

' You bad child!' my mother shouted.'You' re a witch, too,you know!'She got up and began to hit me.She hit me over the head and pulled my hair.An old man laughed,and then ev-eryone laughed.

I ran back across the room.I wasn 't a witch;I was a child,nine years old,and I hated my mother and all her friends! My face felt very hot because I was angry. I left the room and went out of the house. It was afternoon, but the sky was dark with rain.Pendle Hill was dark,too.It sat quietly and watched me.

'I'm going to Mr Nowell,' I said quietly, to Pendle Hill.'I'm going to tell him about my mother and her friends.'

2 罗杰·诺埃尔


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