I do carry on my back tonight. (He takes out awarrant.)I have a warrant for your wife.Proctor (toHale). You said she were not charged!Hale. I know nothin’ of it. (toCheever) W hen were she charged?750 Cheever. I am given sixteen warrant tonight, sir, and she is one.Proctor. W ho charged her?Cheever. Why, Abigail Williams charge her.Proctor. O n what proof, what proof?Cheever (lookingabout the room).Mr. Proctor, I have little time. The court bid me search your house, but I like not to search a house. So will you hand me any poppets that your wife may keep here?Proctor. Poppets?760 Elizabeth. I never kept no poppets, not since I were a girl.Cheever (embarrassed, glancing toward the mantelwhere sitsMary Warren spoppet).I spy a poppet, Goody Proctor.Elizabeth. Oh! (goingfor it)Why, this is Mary’s. Cheever (shyly).Would you please to give it to me? Elizabeth (handing it to him, asksHale). Has the court discovered a text in poppets now?; ? XI 'Cheever (carefully holding the poppet).Do you keep 770 any others in this house?Proctor. No, nor this one either till tonight. W hat signifies a poppet?Cheever. Why, a poppet—(He gingerly turns the pop-pet over.)a poppet may signify— Now, woman, will you please to come with me?Proctor. She will not! (toElizabeth) Fetch Mary here.Cheever (ineptly reaching towardElizabeth). No, no, I am forbid to leave her from my sight.Proctor (pushing his arm away).You’ll leave her out 780 of sight and out of mind, Mister. Fetch Mary, Eliza-beth. ( Elizabeth goes upstairs.)Hale. W hat signifies a poppet, Mr. Cheever?t h ec r u c i b l e: a c tt w o171
Cheever (turning the poppet over in his hands).Why, they say it may signify that she—(He has lifted thepoppet’s skirt, and his eyes widen in astonishedfear.)Why, this, this—Proctor (reachingfor the poppet).W hat’s there? Cheever. Why (He draws out a long needle fromthe poppet.)it is a needle! Herrick, Herrick, it is a 790 needle!(Herrick comes toward him.)Proctor (angrily, bewildered).And what signifies a needle!Cheever (his hands shaking).Why, this go hard with her, Proctor, this— I had my doubts, Proctor, I had my doubts, but here’s calamity, (toHale, showing theneedle)You see it, sir, it is a needle!Hale. Why? W hat meanin’ has it?Cheever (wide-eyed, trembling).The girl, the Wil- 800liams girl, Abigail Williams, sir. She sat to dinner in Reverend Parris’s house tonight, and without word nor warnin’ she falls to the floor. Like a struck beast, he says, and screamed a scream that a bull would weep to hear. And he goes to save her, and, stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out. And demandin’ of her how she come to be so stabbed, she (toProctor now)testify it were your wife’s familiar spirit7 pushed it in.Proctor. Why, she done it herself! (toHale) I hope 8io you’re not takin’ this for proof, Mister!