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The Diabolical Circle

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The Diabolical Circle

by Beulah Bornstead

Genre: Drama
Setting: America
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed

EXCERPT:

ADONIJAH. [Pointing at BETTY, who regards him wonderingly.] Thy daughter is a witch!

BETTY. [Runs to COTTON.] Oh, father!

COTTON. [Consoles BETTY; thunders at ADONIJAH.] What? Darest thou to being forth such an accusation?

ADONIJAH. Aye, while I yet have strength to order mine own will. We shall see what we shall see when the fires leap round the stake. All the diabolical circles the devil may invent or his helpmeets acquire will be of small avail when the leaping tongues of flame curl round you, false servant of the devil. I can delay no longer. I will repair to the council at once, and report what I have seen.

[BETTY faints away. COTTON is at once all paternal solicitude. ADONIJAH gazes in stupefaction. All unobserved CHARLES slips out of the clock. Finally ADONIJAH, as BETTY shows signs of reviving, turns himself away, only to find himself face to face with CHARLES. ADONIJAH stops dead in his tracks, absolutely nonplussed.

CHARLES. Thou goest to the council? Thou lackest evidence. Behold the devil an’ thou wilt.

[ADONIJAH’S jaw drops. He stares unbelievingly. COTTON looks up in surprise as CHARLES continues.

CHARLES. An’ thou goest to the council with such a message, the devil will dog thy very footsteps. And match word of thine with word of truth in such a light that thine own words shall imprison thee in the stocks over Sunday.

[ADONIJAH recovers from his temporary abstraction, and seizing his hat and tippet, tears out the door as if a whole legion of imps were in full pursuit. CHARLES contemptuously turns on his heel and goes over to BETTY, who is now clinging to her father’s arm.

BETTY. [Faintly.] They will not burn me for a witch?


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