Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chapter 18: Kit under arrest

Kit decided duty beat passion when she decided not to join Hannah in escaping Wethersfield (even if she probably didn't stop to think about it in those terms), so she figures she's stuck with that now.
"That should be enough, and surely if she worked hard enough she could forget this strange feeling of emptiness, the haunting regret that a secret and lovely thing was gone forever."
But this is not the moment to settle into ennui. Because the witch-hunt mob, realizing it's lost its chance with Hannah, has chosen a new target.

There's a brief touch of foreshadowing: "They were not alarmed this time by the knock on the door." (Subtext: But they should have been...)

Matthew offers his reputation in Kit's defense, but the constable isn't willing to give up.
"Matthew looked back at the constable. 'I am chagrined,' he said with dignity, 'that I have not controlled my own household. But the girl is young and ignorant. I hold myself to blame for my laxness.'"
It isn't until later that Kit realizes why that didn't work: "She saw now that she had undermined his authority in all eyes by flouting his orders."

Kit's got plenty of time to think as she spends the night locked up in the constable's shed (having been advised by his wife that if she's convicted, all she has to worry about is some form of maiming), so it's time for recrimination. "If I wanted to neglect my own work, Kit groaned in remorse, I might at least have been out in the Cruff's field helping the poor child!"

And also time for purple prose. "Now, huddled in the ragged quilt, she was sucked down in spite of herself, into a black whirlpool of slumber, where nightmare phantoms whirled with her, nearer and nearer, toward some unknown horror."

Never mind about duty and passion now. Kit's got bigger stuff on her mind.

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