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The Crucible Cheever

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The remainder of Act One is set in the attic of local preacher Reverend Samuel Parris. His ten-year-old daughter, Betty Parris, lies motionless. The previous evening, Reverend Parris discovered Betty, some other girls, and his Barbadian slave, Tituba, dancing naked in the forest and engaged in some sort of pagan ritual. The village is rife with rumors of witchcraft and a crowd gathers outside Rev. Parris' house. Parris becomes concerned that the event will cause him to be removed from his position as the town's preacher. He questions the girls' apparent ringleader, his niece Abigail Williams, whom Parris has been forced to adopt after her parents were brutally killed in King Philip's War. Abigail denies they were engaged in witchcraft, claiming that they had been dancing. Afterwards, the wealthy and influential Thomas Putnam and his wife, Ann arrive. At the Putnams' urging, Parris reluctantly reveals that he has invited Reverend John Hale, an expert in witchcraft and demonology, to investigate and leaves to address the crowd.

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