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HOME > Comprehensive Novel > The Witches of Pendle > Chapter 4 TRUTH AND LIES 真相与谎言
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Chapter 4 TRUTH AND LIES 真相与谎言

On the twenty-seventh day of April, the guards took my mother and James to Lancaster Castle, and my life at Read Hall began.Suddenly,it was spring.The sky was blue and there were beautiful flowers on the hills. From Read Hall,Pendle Hill looked different : it looked smaller, and it was not so important in my life.Sometimes I walked along Sabden Brook to Sabden, and then to Newchurch, and I felt happy to be near Pendle Hill again.But I never visited Malkin Tower again.

Spring changed into summer,and in August I went to Lan-caster with Mr Nowell. Lancaster was thirty miles from Read Hall, and I got very tired because I sat on a horse for hours. It was a big, noisy town. I never saw so many people before in my life and I felt afraid.

The trial of the witches of Pendle began at Lancaster Castle on the eighteenth day of August, and the judge was an impor-tant man from London.Judge Bromley listened to many people on that day, because there were a lot of witches from Lan-cashire in the prison.Old Demdike was not there because she died in May, before the judge arrived.

I waited with Mr Nowell' s servant, and when a guard called my name, I went through a big door and saw the judge behind a table. Judge Bromley was rich and important, but his eyes were cold.Suddenly, I saw my mother! She was dirty and very thin.When she saw me,her face went red.My hair was clean now, and I wore shoes and an expensive dress. I saw my mother' s eyes: she hated me!

'Are you a witch?'Judge Bromley asked my mother.

'No, I 'm not,'my mother answered angrily.

'Did you kill Jack Robinson,of Barley village?'

' No, I did not.'

'Jennet Device is here,' a voice said quietly. It was Mr Nowell.'She can tell us the truth about her mother.'

For a minute, my mother did not move. Then she ran across the room and shouted at me. 'You know nothing, you bad child! And I'm your mother!Don' t forget that!'

The guards ran after my mother and pulled her to the floor.

' I'm no witch!'my mother shouted.' It' s all lies! Jennet,you' re a witch—a child of the Devil! You' re my daughter,and I know!'

I was afraid and I put my hands over my eyes. I didn't want to see my mother' s ugly face. The guards pulled my motherout of the room and the noise stopped.

'Jennet Device,'the judge said.'Tell us the truth about your mother.'

Roger Nowell lifted me up and put me on a table in front of the judge.

'My mother is a witch,'I began.'She has a friend, a dog called Ball. When she wants to kill somebody, she tells Ball…'I talked and talked;I told the judge everything.

Judge Bromley listened carefully.'My child,is this the truth?'

'Yes,'I answered.'I'm telling you the truth.'

The guards brought my mother back into the room again.Her face looked tired and her eyes were red.

'Elizabeth Device,your daughter told us about your dog,Ball. Your son, too, told us about the clay pictures. We know everything.'

My mother said nothing.She didn't look at the judge and she didn' t look at me.

Next, the guards brought my brother James into the room.When I saw James,I wanted to cry.James was thin and dirty and his hair was very long.He looked at the judge and at all the rich and important men in the room and he began to cry.Then he sat down on the floor.

'Stand up,James Device,'Judge Bromley said.

The guards pulled James up,but he fell to the floor again.

'You killed Mr Duckworth,'Judge Bromley said.

'I wanted a shirt,'James cried.

'Is your brother a witch?'Judge Bromley asked me.

' Yes,' I said. My brother sat on the floor, his mouth open.He looked at me,but he didn't know me. I was clean,and fat because of all the good food at Read Hall.

'James told me about his friend,Dandy,'I began.'Dandy was the Devil and—'

James heard the name Dandy,and he began to cry again.'I want Dandy!I want to go home!'

The guards pulled him up from the floor and took him out of the room. I never saw my brother again.

When the guards brought my sister Alizon in front of the judge, I said nothing.John Law,the pedlar,came into the room.He was a thin man now.He walked slowly and he talked slowly and his face looked ill .He told the judge about that day near Colne when Alizon cursed him and her dog ran after him.

'I'm sorry!' Alizon said.' I was angry with you that day,but I'm sorry now.' Alizon 's eyes were dark and afraid, but she had no friends in that room and nobody wanted to listen to her.

Then Mr Nowell took me out and I waited with his servant in a different room. An hour later, there was the noise of many people shouting and crying.

The servant smiled.'The trial is finished,' he said 'You' re a good child Jennet.You told the judge the truth about the Witches.'

Mr Nowell took me home to Read Hall.And on the twen-tieth day of August 1612,the guards took my mother,my sis-ter and my brother out of prison ,and hanged them in front of Lancaster Castle.

And so I lost my family.

When I was a child, I wanted to be happy.I wanted to be warm, to wear shoes, to eat good food. I wanted someone to take care of me.That's all. My mother gave me nothing. She gave me no love.She never took care of me.Because my moth-er was a witch,my father ran away and I never knew him.My father was a rich man without a name, and I lived hungry and cold with a witch.And so I told Judge Bromley the truth about my family.Was I wrong?I don't know.

I was happy for years at Read Hall. For twenty-one years, I forgot my family.I learned to cook for the Nowell family;I worked many hours every day but I was warm and I ate good food.Every Sunday,in my best dress,I went to church;every summer I walked over Pendle Hill.I never thought about my family, because I was happy at Read Hall.

In August 1612,the guards hanged my family in front of Lancaster Castle. But their dead faces waited for me there; and a year ago, in 1633,when the guards put me in the prison in Lancaster Castle, I met them again. Day after day, I see their ugly, dead faces and hear their cold, angry voices. I think of them all the time. God is with me here,in prison. I believe that. But my dead family is with me too.

Mr Webster,from the church at Kildwick,visits me again.His blue eyes are tired,but he smiles at me.

'Edmund Robinson and his father told the truth in London, 'he says quietly.' The child told lies about you be-cause he was afraid of his father. He wanted his father to love him.'

I say nothing. Mr Webster wants to be kind, but he cannot help me.Mr Nowell cannot help me because he is dead.Ed-mund Robinson is only a child; he tells lies one day, and the truth the next day.But the truth cannot help me.What can I do against hate ,and lies?When Mr Nowell was alive,the Vil-lagers didn't talk about me.But when Mr Nowell died,the lies began.The villagers are all afraid of me——because my name is Device.They hate me——because my name is Device.They say I am a witch—— because my name is Device.

I come from a family of witches, but I am not a witch. No-body died because I cursed them.I never made clay pictures, I never had a cat or dog.I only wanted to live quietly at Read Hall and watch the changing skies over Pendle Hill.

When I was a child, I was always cold and hungry, and I hated my family because they were witches. In 1612, I told the truth, and the truth killed my family. Now, twenty-two years later,lies are going to kill me, here in Lancaster Castle, and I am cold and hungry again.

Mr Webster gives me bread,and I go back into the prison.I can never go back to Read Hall;I know that now.I must stay here in Lancaster Castle, with my dead family.

They are watching me, and waiting for me. I can never be free of them.

This is my true story; and I want to finish it now.

4 真相与谎言

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