PREVIOUSLY ON SALEM
Isaac: Saw a dusty fella walking into town today. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was John Alden.
Mary: You told me he was dead!
John: This is my vow. I will come back for you.
Tituba: What's John Alden compared to all that lies before you?
Mary: [Screams, gasps]
Giles: You come back for one thing and one thing only. She's Mary Sibley now. And she's the richest woman in Salem.
Mary: Time for your feeding.
Giles: Precious Salem caught up in a stinking witch panic.
Cotton: The devil was never going to let a promised land be built here without a fight!
Anne: I'm not afraid of the dead, nor the living for that matter.
John: What is it that these witches want?
Cotton: A country of their own.
Mary: I waited for you. Years and years.
Giles: I was there the night you did it.
Mary: It's all that I have left of him. [Screams]
Giles: That was John Alden's baby. Are you gonna tell him, or am I?
Cotton: She will show us the witch. [Mercy screams]
Mary: Who saw us?
Mr. Hale: And I will tell you again. I do not know.
Mary: The witch hunt has begun, and we will be running the trials.
Cotton: Are you guilty... Or not? [Giles groans]
Cotton (voice over): Most of those who have ever lived are now dead. All but very few must surely burn in hell. We may someday over-people this vast, empty new land, but I fear that we have already over-peopled hell. So that, as it is written in Isaiah, "Hell hath enlarged herself." And is now called... America. I have been in Salem a fortnight, and I have already hung three witches. Is this the price of building heaven on earth? I have laid my hands upon his most deadly servants... The witches. Or have I? I obeyed every one of your instructions. I even pressed a possibly innocent man to death. I still taste his spattered blood on my lips. Please, lord, I beg thee. Give me a sign.
["Cupid carries a gun" plays] ♪ Pound me the witch drums ♪ ♪ witch drums ♪ ♪ pound me the witch drums ♪ ♪ pound me the witch drums ♪ ♪ the witch drums ♪ ♪ better pray for hell ♪ ♪ not hallelujah ♪
[Flies buzzing] [Wood creaks] Isaac: [Grunts] Forgive me. [Buzzing continues] [Birds squawk]
THE DIVING ROD
Gloriana: Have you lost your lust for life? Don't tell me that you are full up.
Cotton: Perhaps some holes cannot be filled.
Gloriana: Really, my lord? Which holes are those?
Cotton: The ones we dig for ourselves.
Gloriana: What weighs so heavy on you, love?
Cotton: By the taste of it, my father's boot.
Gloriana: [Laughs] You're a big boy now. Grown men don't fear their fathers.
Cotton: You don't know my father.
Gloriana: Everyone knows your father.
Woman: No, you can't go in there!
Cotton: Captain Alden! No! No! No!
Gloriana: Leave him alone!
John: Get out. This is how you wipe the innocent blood off your hands? On the ass of a whore?
Cotton: Giles Corey never pled! Ergo, we don't know he was innocent! [Screams]
John: Give me one good reason why I don't put you in the ground.
Cotton: Sir, I cannot. I've been expecting the angel of death since I was 10. I didn't see him myself, but I knew from the look in grandfather's eyes just before he went, the angel bore a most terrible face. Quite like yours, I expect. So come, angel. You find me fully prepared to burn like a human candle for eternity in a pit of burning black tar with all the other damned.
John: Burning black tar? I thought hell was fire.
Cotton: A common misconception. Hellfire burns like fire but is the consistency of thick black pitch. What? What have you seen?
John: Not sure. Hell on earth, maybe. Get dressed. I've got something to show you.
SALEM MAIN STREET
[Horse neighs] Cotton: Where are we going?
John: The woods.
Cotton: To what end?
John: You have the moral compass of a meat ant, but you do know something about witches. I saw them. Just like Mercy Lewis described them. Animal heads and all.
Mr. Hale: Captain Alden. As magistrate of Salem, I hereby place you under arrest for violent remonstrations in the common last night. You shall face charges of disorderly, riotous mischief and incitement to mayhem. John: Talk to Isaac. He'll show you the way. What are you gonna do, Hale? Press me to death just like you did to Giles Corey?
Mr. Hale: I suggest you take that up with your new friend, the reverend, as it was his doing, not mine. Away with him. [Grunting]
Mary: You've had a busy night. When were you planning to tell me you'd arrested John Alden? Before or after you hang him?
Mr. Hale: The man is a loose cannon. He threatened the selectmen in front of half the town. Mary: If he's a problem, he's my problem.
Mr. Hale: With all due respect, he could become a problem for us all.
Mary: My husband controls Salem, and I control him. You do nothing without my say. With all due respect. Mr. Hale: Yes, ma'am.
Mary: Concern yourself with one thing, Mr. Hale... Find out who broke our circle. Head back to the woods. Find the seer. His eyes were there. Isaac: It was right here we saw the witches.
Cotton: Captain Alden saw all this, too?
Isaac: Yeah. And something else... Something I ain't seen before. They stabbed a bird. A white dove. I killed more than a few pigeons myself, and a dove ain't nothing but a prettier pigeon, but this felt different. I can't say why... Like it was the saddest thing in the world. To bleed a dove to death. Just the one dove.
Cotton: Of course. Like a witch's cauldron.
Isaac: A tree? Like a cauldron? And folks say Isaac's touched.
Cotton: Got you.
Militia man: Mrs. Sibley.
Mary: Open it.
Militia man: Yes, ma'am.
Mary: Now leave. Salem still hangs men for what you did... Threatening the selectmen.
John: Nothing stopping them.
Mary: I'd never let that happen.
John: And where was that compassion when Giles Corey was being crushed to death?
Mary: You're free to go. But the selectmen urge you to leave Salem and never come back.
John: The selectmen... Or Mary Sibley?
Mary: I am trying to save you. You don't belong here.
John: And neither do you. Mary: I told you ... I can't leave.
John: Well, last time I checked, your husband was in no shape to stop you.
Mary: [Breathes deeply] Your confidence astounds me, Captain. But did you imagine that I would welcome you back with tears of joy? How incredibly naive you are. You're too late. It's over. I don't want you here.
John: I almost believe you.
Mary: Get out of Salem... now... Or you will hang.
BRIDGET BISHOP'S ORPHANAGE
Beggar girl: Sir. [Gasps] [Girls murmuring] [Screaming]
Bridget: All right, you can do this.
Hannah: [Gasps] I can't do it. It's too big.
Bridget: Yes, you can. I have gotten bigger babies out of smaller girls.
Mary: Not this baby out of this girl, not until she tells us the name of the father.
Bridget: Mrs. Sibley, excuse me, but this baby has got to come out.
Mary: Salem won't shoulder another bastard.
Mary: What are you doing here?
Anne: My friend Bridget teaches me the wonders of God's own creation.
Bridget: Hannah, will you tell us the name of your man?
Hannah: I cannot, Miss. He'll lose his apprenticeship. He ain't allowed to marry for some years yet.
Mary: That is his problem, not Salem's.
Bridget: Mary, you're a woman. You were even a poor one once. But now you're Mary Sibley. For once, use your position among the puritans to help one of your own.
Mary: No man is worth it, child, or if he is, he would rather you tell us his name than die trying to protect him.
Hannah: [Screams, grunts] Billy! It was Billy Bailyn, the Cooper's apprentice.
Bridget: Just relax. Stay with me. All right, Hannah. I want you to give me a big push. [Hannah screams]
Bridget: Almost there! That's it. Big push. Well done! Keep going.That's it. Oh!
Hannah: [In distance] Help me! [Baby crying]
Woman: It's going to be all right. Excuse us, madam. Come on, now. In you go. [Bird calling]
Mr. Hale: [Gasps] Petrus, really. You ought to wear a little bell.
Petrus: And you, Magistrate, need none. We heard you the moment you left the road. [Sniffing] Come.
Mr. Hale: I had a bit of trouble finding the place. Seemed to recall you having been farther north last time.
Petrus: Perhaps I was, magistrate Hale. Eyes are for seeing, not for being seen. That's why your kind come to me. You find me when you need me. So, what do you need?
Mr. Hale: Someone broke our circle in the woods last night. We need to know who saw us.
Petrus: Ah. Full buck moon? Uh-huh. You were there that night, weren't you, little friend? Time to wake up. What did you see? [Blows] [Clicking tongue] [Blows] Tell Mary Sibley we will find out who was in the woods last night, but it takes time. [Indistinct whispering]
Woman: Lord... [Speaking indistinctly]
Mary: Have our prayers been answered? Has the poor girl improved?
Bridget: We should not be praying for God to do what we can accomplish ourselves. Mercy Lewis is not suffering the work of witches or demons, but some natural malady or fever of the mind, yet she hangs here like an animal. Mary: She broke her ropes three times at home, not to mention her father's arm. She bit off her own finger and tears at her flesh. [Mercy groans]
Mary: Mercy must be protected from herself and we from her. There's no better place to do both than in the house of God.
Bridget: I think the selectmen are exploiting her condition to create fear in Salem. This so-called "witch panic" is yet another attempt by the puritans to control us.
Mary: Miss Bishop, please... Be careful of the words that you speak. To less sympathetic ears, they could sound like the words of the devil himself.
Bridget: I'm... sorry if my words were harsh. Sometimes, my tongue runs ahead of my mind. Mary: It's understandable. These are trying times for all of us.
Tituba: Careful, mistress. Your tears may sour the milk.
Mary: There was a time that I might have suckled something other than a toad.
Tituba: It doesn't matter now. What matters is, who will be next? The grand rite has begun, and the earth cries out for innocent blood.
Mary: I know well my duties. Attend to your own.
Tituba: Your duties and seeing that you fulfill them is my duty, like it or not.
Mary: I've made my choice. But we need more than another victim... We need a sign. And I know just the person to deliver us both. Our Cotton Mather is quite obsessed with signs... Wrote chapter and verse on them. But there is one sign they dread more than any other. The sign of a monstrous birth.
Tituba: You would do such a thing?
Mary: No, I have no need to pluck a single leaf from the tree of life when a leaf is already dead on the branch. There's a girl out there who carries death inside. I could smell the baby, floating dead and malformed in her mother's womb. Don't weep for her. She never tasted a single bitter breath of life's betrayals. Yet her brief flicker of life will burn like a comet over earth when I make of her a sign... Of the doom that's come upon Salem. Do you know what I enjoy most, George? Turning the good souls of Salem against one another, like the rabid dogs you trained them to be.
George: The only thing that keeps me alive is the look on your face when John Alden finds out what you really are and throttles you with his bare han... [Muffled screaming] [Choking]
Mary: Just think, George. I need only kill nine more innocents before full hunter's moon, and my grand rite is complete.
THE DIVINING ROD
Mab: Shh! Shh! Shush now, Kitty. If lying with old fat Fred didn't kill you, delivering his child won't, neither.
Kitty: No! It feels like it'll tear me in two. [Crying]
Mab: It's almost time. Go fetch Bridget. Shh!
[Door hinges creak]
Gloriana: [Gasps] Miss Bridget! I was just coming to get you.
Bridget: I heard poor Kitty's screams.
Gloriana: Nothing to fear now. Miss Bridget's seen more babes through the narrow gate than any.
Bridget: Don't fret, child. The baby's just the wrong way 'round. It is a simple thing to turn it.
Kitty: [Grunting] No! Aah! [Screaming] No! No! No! No! [Screaming] She's hurting my baby! [Screams] Aah! [Groaning] [Coughs]
Gloriana: [Shudders] Bridget: Oh!
Cotton: You witnessed a real witches' Sabbath... Something no witch hunter has ever seen with his own eyes. All of our images and accounts come from confessions, some... rather more believable than others.
John: It's this one.
Cotton: Mm. If this is true, it's far worse than I thought.
John: What's it say? Cotton: No Latin, Captain? Oh, of course not. You've no time for books. "Ritum magni." The grand rite... The greatest secret of the witches. All we have are scraps of rumors of failed attempts. Unfortunately, there are no books by witches... only witch hunters.
John: Mm. So all of these books... Tell you exactly nothing. [Clattering]
Isaac: Stop it. You fight each other. Who fights them?
Cotton: He has a point.
John: So, where do we begin?
Cotton: Inside the tree, I found what fuels their work... Like the wood of a fire. See, everything the witch does is powered by two things: lust and death. The lust they provide for themselves, but they must look elsewhere for the dead parts. The town would be aware if their own Salem burial ground was being disturbed by corpse grinding.
John: So where do they get them?
Cotton: Isaac, if you'd be so kind as to explain to the captain your duties.
Isaac: I got all kind of duties... Packages to deliver. I also deliver the unwanteds to the crags.
John: The unwanteds?
Isaac: You know, Indians, slaves, criminals... Pretty much anybody ain't fit to be laid in Salem ground.
Cotton: This is where the witches harvest. And at the risk of another thrashing, it is also your best hope of reclaiming your friend's remains.
John: You dumped his body into the crags?! Giles Corey built half this town, and you threw him into a goddamn ditch?! Let's go.
John: To get Giles out of that shithole.
BRIDGET BISHOP'S ORPHANAGE
Mary: All of Salem is diminished by your loss. I can only imagine your suffering.
Kitty: Thank you, Mrs. Sibley.
Mary: The others said that you were frightened. You thought that someone was trying to hurt your baby? Tell me what happened. Tell me. I'm going to tell you something. I've never told anyone before. I, too, have lost a child. Oh, I know the pain you feel. I feel it even now. You must tell me what happened so that your child did not die in vain. I promise you... No harm will come to you. Tell me.
Kitty: I felt the presence of evil... And...
Mary: Go on.
Kitty: I saw a foul hag. And she was touching my belly.
Mary: What of the midwife? What of her?
Kitty: They were one and the same.
[Flies buzzing] Isaac: Two times in as many nights? Two times too many. [Whimpering]
John: Show me where you dumped his body. [Buzzing continues] Jesus Christ.
Isaac: [Vomiting] [Coughs]
John: Where is he?
John: You do not lay a hand on that man. Isaac:
THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES
[Door opens] Cotton: [Clears throat] [Door hinges creak]
Mary: Oh, forgive me. Ordinarily, this would be George's domain, but my husband... His condition, I fear that the very sight of this would stop his heart.
Cotton: Mrs. Sibley, please... Calm yourself. What is wrong?
Mary: Oh, a most terrible thing... A sign.
Cotton: A sign?
Mary: Yes, just as you described in one of your books. A monstrous birth.
Cotton: What? Here in Salem?
Mary: Delivered by our very own midwife... Bridget Bishop.
Cotton: And where is... What has become of this monster now? Where is it?
Mary: In this very room. Mr. lamb floated it in a bottle. I... [Sighs]
Cotton: By the wounds of Christ! The mere sight of this would pierce our dear lord yet again! You were right to send for me. This is most terrible.
Mary: But what does it portend? What is this a sign of?
Cotton: There can be no doubt. This is nothing less than a declaration of war upon us by the devil himself.
Mary: [Breathes sharply] Reverend... Is there anything we can do?
Cotton: I will do whatever is in my power to protect Salem... And you, madam.
Mary: I thank God you're here, Reverend. We would be lost without you. [Bells tolling]
Anne: Father, please wait. [Panting] Father, you know Bridget. How could you think her guilty of this?
Mr. Hale: It isn't a matter of what I think.
John: Another rush to judgment, Mather?
Cotton: Quite the contrary, I fear. It is judgment that is rushing towards all of us. Behold the warrant of judgment. For our sins, individual and collective, he has signed the seal of Satan, a message straight from hell to herald the arrival of the devil in Salem. And who delivered his message for him? Bridget Bishop. Did you or did you not deliver this monster from that girl?
Bridget: Yes, but...
Cotton: Did you or did you not minister to this girl while she carried it?
Bridget: Yes, sir, but I minister...
Cotton: Did you or did you not frequently dose her with physics and potions and herbal concoctions of your own devising?
Bridget: Sir, that is what I do, but I did not...
Cotton: And did you or did you not place your hands upon her belly, pressing this way and that just before the thing came out?
Bridget: I was turning the babe so...
Cotton: Aye, but turning it into what?
Anne: Stop! [Audience murmuring] Whatever that poor stone child may be, you are the true monster!
Mr. Hale: I apologize for my daughter. The accused is a dear friend of hers. But I share her concern. You would accuse a woman... A woman whom we all know and trust, who never did anything but help other women to deliver their babies and care for those who no one wanted? And now, suddenly, we're to believe she's a witch?
Cotton: The devil is patient. And so are his servants... Our friends, our neighbors... Till, finally, they are called to serve him. Bridget Bishop, you have delivered a monster into the world. You were seen in your true guise, the night hag, by your victim. And even those who were duped by your innocent image could still sense the palpable stench of evil around them as you destroyed a babe in the cradle of life... A sign of your master's declaration of war upon us. How do you plead?
Bridget: I did no such thing. I'm innocent! Oh, you must believe me... I am...
John: I'm a little confused, Mather. Did Bridget make that sign... Or did God? No. No, no, no. Wait. I remember. God told the devil, and the devil made her do it... Have I got this right? No? Maybe I'm just not as smart as you. I haven't read all those books, but I have seen a few things in the world. And in this world, bad things happen, generally with no more meaning than the roll of a dice.
Cotton: This monstrosity... It's just an unlucky roll of God's dice?
John: Probably the unluckiest I've seen.
Cotton: Well, then, we have a most profound difference of opinion.
John: We do. But you would hang a woman on your opinion. Cotton: And on yours, you would let an agent of the devil himself walk free to do more malice.
John: Then put her on trial, too. Don't just stop there. There were others with her. Or maybe they're all responsible.
Gloriana: No, you can't! It's not my fault!
John: It's not your fault? No, I think that you're probably right. I think... and I know this is unthinkable to you, Mather... But maybe, just maybe, it's no one's fault. [Audience murmuring] We all know that killing is different. Killing is always someone's fault. The stones aren't dry from the blood of Giles Corey, and now you are willing to hang a woman... This woman, Bridget Bishop... And, hell, throw in a few whores for good measure... And for what? [Audience murmuring]
Mary: Perhaps it's time we heard from Mercy. Isn't that right, reverend Mather? Isn't she bound to react in front of the guilty witch or witches?
Cotton: My father and all the experts agree...
Mary: Then take them to her.
Mary: Captain Alden is quite right. All may be guilty. Take the midwife and the three whores, too.
[Audience murmuring] [Mercy groans and vomit blood and needles ] [Bridget screaming and crying]
Mary: Shall we vote?
Bridget: [Crying] Lord... You who sees and knows our secret hearts must know that I am innocent. Please, please, please give them some visible sign of this simple truth. Please.
[Sobbing] [Gasps] [Rope creaks] [Choking] [Bird cawing]
John: Well done. Another innocent killed.
Cotton: I do not think so. But even if I did... Let the lord add it to my already lengthy list of mortal sins. I must pay any price, spill my own or any other's blood to stop the witches.
John: I don't think I've ever seen such a mixture of reason and bullshit in a man.
Cotton: If you only knew what I know...
John: What? I'd crush a man or hang a woman, then drink myself blind and bury myself into a whore like there's no tomorrow?
Cotton: If we do not stop these foul hags, there will be no tomorr...
Anne: You monster!
Mr. Hale: What a mess you've made of things. We were nearly ruined by a single sound argument from a man you can't seem to let alone. I question now why we let you begin this.
Mary: Why? Because this is the fulfillment of all our dreams... Vengeance for centuries of oppression. Too late for doubts now, Hale. We are all in this together.
Mr. Hale: Yes, and we shall all burn together at this rate. You're too young to understand the risk you're taking. I saw my entire family burned at the stake. I tasted their ashes in my mouth. I have no desire to taste my own... Or my daughter's.
Mary: Well, perhaps you old-world witches are simply too scared or too scarred. To claim this new world. Not me.
Mr. Hale: I'm not alone. The elders have their doubts, too.
Mary: All your fears are unnecessary. Innocent blood flows and will continue to flow. Results, Mr. Hale, are all that matter. And speaking of results, what of your errand?
Mr. Hale: Petrus assures us we'll soon know who saw us.
Lamb: Oh, um... sorry, Miss Hale, but, uh, you know the rules. There's, uh, no women allowed after dark.
John: It's all right, lamb. According to Mather, these are the end times. I think we can make an exception for tonight. What are you looking at?
Anne: You're just like them... Happy to discuss and debate, but too afraid to take any real action. Why are you even in Salem? Where's that fire I saw in your eyes the night they killed your friend?
[Table thuds] [Gasps]
John: What do you want from me, Miss Hale?
Anne: Justice... For Giles Corey, for Bridget Bishop, and for all the other innocent victims soon to come from this madness. Someone must do something! What?
John: You just remind me of someone I once knew.
Anne: What happened to them?
John: I wish I knew.
Mary: Here uninvited... You must have stayed too long with the Indians. It's made you more... savage.
John: No. Less patient. There's something I think you should know.
Mary: You're leaving Salem?
John: To the contrary. Anne Hale reminded me Salem deserves better. It always did.
Mary: Really? I thought you hated this place.
John: I thought so, too. But it turns out it wasn't Salem that I hated... Rather, the people who run it. Fella told me something today. He said it was a damn sight easier to break things than to fix them.
Mary: And you intend to fix things.
Mary: How do you plan on doing that?
John: There's an extra seat on the board of selectmen... A seat with the Alden name. Reckoned maybe it was time I claimed it. Might just be one voice, but it is a start.
Tituba: [Clears throat]
John: I'll be seeing you.
[ Mary is sitting at the table and handling of herbs and dried cockroaches, placing them into a doll. It takes a rat and crushes him to death by pouring the blood into the doll]
ANNE HALE'S BEDROOM
Anne: Go away, cat. You'll ruin my work. [Scrape]