“They are going to kill her. It’s been decided.”
The man’s wife, the only audience for his matter-of-fact remark, stopped abruptly, almost spilling the dirty dishes in her hands. In a raspy voice, she asked, “nothing can be done?”
“If we try to stop them they will kill us, too. They will kill our children.”
Turning to her husband, a crudely constructed man with a lazy look in his heavy-lidded eyes, the woman pleaded, “Marc, can’t we take her somewhere for a time? Just to wait it over?”
Marc leaned forward menacingly. “Don’t be stupid! To wait what over? You know the baker’s wife and daughter are dead, Smith has lost two children this week, and my brother’s youngest is dying, if he has not already—God bless his little soul. Almost every house in the village had a death or will have one very soon. You want to wait until the whole village is dead?”
The woman’s voice trembled, her eyes teared up. “You can’t think she is causing the plague! She is only twelve! What does she know? What can she do?”
“She knew enough to heal Smith’s apprentice when he got burned. I saw it with my own eyes. She put some herbs in the water, and said something over them, then sprinkled the water over the burn, and the wound closed up. With my own two eyes I saw it, so don’t tell me she knows nothing! He hardly even has a scar, and those kinds of burns can kill you, that’s what Smith said.