Chapter #1 When God Turned his Head

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Chapter #1


 gust of wind blew in from the harbor. The wooden shingle hanging over the Codman Saddle Shop rattled side-to side in the breeze. Leaves and other liter swirled in the corner between the Clarke Apothecary and the Miller Bookstore.

Like a sleepy ghost town, the docks at Boston Harbor slept through its day of rest. No crowds wandered the streets. The storefronts were locked while their owners observed their Sabbath. Bostonians with their Puritan heritage still took their Sabbath seriously. Even loading and unloading ships were forbidden on Sundays. Any ship that came into harbor on Saturday night sat with its cargo untouched until Monday morning and ships were never scheduled to disembark from sunset Saturday night until sunrise Monday morning. No amount of money would make a Bostonian of 1753 break his Sunday Sabbath.

It was February and the sun itself had taken a Sabbatical along with the rest of Boston. Gray clouds hung low in the Boston sky. Long icicles hung from the eves of the North Church that stood at the corner of Price Street and North Street. Temperatures hovered near zero.

The church was a wooden building painted white with pyramidal roof and topped by a belfry with a brass bell that pealed the announcement to the good Puritan people of Boston it was time for them to make their slow dignified approach to the respected institution. The breath from heavily clothed church laymen hung heavy around the church steps.

“I sure am ready for this cold weather to end,” one elderly matron said to another.

“Well, better that we have this kind of weather in February than in April, I always say,” the other replied.

“I suppose,” said the first. “But I sure am ready for spring. It seems like spring and summer just fly by but winter seems to drag on forever. It sure is tough on my rheumatism.”

The two women continued their conversation as they entered the Old North Church.

John Adams joined his cousin Samuel and Samuel’s wife Elizabeth just inside the great church. There they greeted the pastor of the congregation—Reverend Elliot. Reverend Elliot wore black robes. A red sash hung ceremoniously around his neck.

“It’s so nice to meet you, Master Adams. I hope you enjoy your visit to Old North Church. I understand your father is a deacon at the church in Braintree.”

John Adams smiled at the Reverend. “Yes, Reverend, he is. After all this hustle and bustle here in Boston, it’s going to be tough to return to that sleepy little hamlet.”

“Any excitement you may find here in the big city may not be what a young person like you really needs. A growing city like Boston gets more and more corrupt every day. There's so much influence from people from all those other places with beliefs different from our own coming into the colony and settling in Boston. Beliefs, I might add, that could lead a young man astray.”

“Thank you for the concern, sir. My life is to go as the Lord leads.”

“I understand that you just graduated from Harvard.”

“Yes, sir, I did.”

“Am I to understand that you studied Law?”

“That’s correct, sir.”

I find it rather odd that a good Christian would study Law rather than go into the ministry like most of your fellow Harvard graduates. I am especially . . . ah . . . surprised that your father, Deacon John, allowed you the freedom to pursue a career in Law.”

“No need to be concerned, Reverend. When I felt the calling on my life to become a lawyer at a young age, the Lord led me to I Corinthians twelve particularly verse fifteen which says: ‘If the foot say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not the body?’ Just because I'm not called to be a pastor, doesn't mean that I'm not a good Christian. My father understands my conviction to do as the Lord leads rather than follow the crowd.”

“Well, if your father agrees, I guess . . .” he hesitated to go on.

“He says that since we are to walk as Jesus walked, and he is our advocate with the Father in heaven; there must be advocates for the accused here on earth.”

“Maybe it’s your father who should have been the attorney.”

“Perhaps you are correct,” John Adams replied. If John could have smiled without retribution for smiling on the Sabbath Day, he would have. John cleared his throat instead. The minister didn't realize just how close to the truth his statement was.

 It’s been a pleasure to meet you, Reverend,” he replied and entered the stately doors of the church.

The double doors of the Sunday morning meetinghouse opened to the grand meeting room. The ceilings and rafters were so open and reverberating that above the pulpit hung a great sounding board that hung above the minister like a great extinguisher. This ornate rosette carved and painted ornamentation reflected the sound back toward the congregation, dispelling echoes from around the room.

Below the sounding board, the pulpit here at North Church was even more pretentious than at John Adams’ father’s church. This one had a tall desk with a narrow flight of stairs leading up to it. These stairs were enclosed in a towering hexagonal mahogany structure ornate with pillars and panels.  

Families came into the church with the head of the household proceeding and the remainder of the family followed. Sam and his wife who carried their young son Sam Junior came in first and John followed them in quiet procession. They stopped at Adams pew.

The Adams pew was on the right side of the church, fourth pew back. The Adams's like every family pew was maintained by the family who sat there. The seating of the persons within the meetinghouse was decided upon by a person’s wealth and position within the community.

The pew like others in the church had towering whitewashed partition walls, which extended so high that only the tops of the tallest heads could be seen when the occupants were seated. The door of the pew hung lower than the pew itself.  On it hung a sign with the name Adams neatly etched into the placard. Many of the prominent families of Boston had their own pew marked with family name. The floor within each pew was several inches higher than the floor of the aisle between the pews. Each member of the family had to step up in order to get into the pew and then again within the pew they had to step over the crickets and foot bench. One long, low footrest stretched across one side of the pew floor to the other. This long bench had three tiers of shelves. The lower and broader shelf was used for a footrest, the second one was to hold the hats of the men and the third and narrower shelf was for the hymnbooks and Bibles. On the other three sides of the pew hung the narrow uncomfortable seat that folded up against the pew when not in use. Some Sundays especially during a long, boring sermon, John wished that he were an elderly or infirmed woman. Only elderly women could sit on cushions during the service.

The tops of the pews of more affluent parishioners contained high railings ornamented with balusters. John smiled when he saw that the paint worn from the pew spindles. Here as in his father's church in Braintree, children tested the spindles to see which ones would turn and which ones would squeak. John knew the game well because he too had turned pew spindles when he was a lad.

Two rows in front of the Adams pew on the same side, a portly man and his frail wife and simply dressed daughter entered the stately pew. John wouldn't have paid attention to them if they weren't accompanied by three Africans.

John motioned his cousin to move close to his ear. “Who is that?”

“That is the Captain John Codman family.”

Captain Codman was five foot nine inches tall and weighed a stocky two hundred forty-eight pounds. His wife couldn’t have weighed one hundred pounds soaking wet.

“He appears to have a healthy appetite, that’s for sure.”

Samuel Adams smiled at his young cousin’s statement. “He has a healthy bank account to go with it. At one time Mistress Codman was a rare beauty; at least that’s what they say.”

“That’s hard to believe that now.”

“Like I said, that was years ago. It shocked the whole community when it was Captain Codman who married her. She had been his indentured servant.”

“I didn’t realize that they still hired indentured servants here in Boston.”

“You do see indentured servants here in Boston from time to time, but you’re right, they haven’t used many indentured servants in Boston since 1700.”

“I find it very interesting that people from England are willing to make themselves like slaves from seven years just for passage to the colonies. How is it that a young woman is willing to become an indentured servant?”

“I heard that she was coming to America with her father. He was supposed to be indentured for fourteen years to pay for both of their passages but then he died so she was forced to indenture herself for her own passage.”

Codman purchased her indenture papers and when she was just two years into her contract, she married him. Everyone thought for sure she was going to marry another indentured servant—Kanter Thorton when they finished their contracts but then she up and married Codman instead. They say that she bettered her station in life by marrying the Captain Codman. He's a fine upstanding citizen of this fine city of Boston. He used to be a ship’s captain. He retired when his first wife died. His cargo was African slaves. That's where he made all of his money. They said that he couldn't sell these last three that's why he still has them. From what I hear, he beats this current wife on a regular basis. I wouldn’t doubt it. Might explain why she doesn't look all that healthy. I personally know that he beats his slaves. His African manservant Mark showed me stripes on his back from a whipping he got once. There were other scars on his back to prove that it wasn’t the first time either.”

“I'm surprised that anyone has slaves here in Boston much less be allowed to beat them. I thought the church was against the practice of slavery?”

“The church does frown on slave ownership but since John Codman pays his tithes and foots a project or two each year, the powers that be at the church overlook that little discrepancy in his lifestyle. Not only do they overlook his slave ownership, he was voted in as a deacon this year. Horrible state of affairs, in my opinion when a church looks at the bank account and neglects the heart”

“Huh,” was all John said.

“To be fair, I can't say that Codman's all that bad. I hear he's always been an industrious worker. Codman's father was a hard man. He made Codman work his way up from deck- swabby to captain of the old man's ship. After he took over his father’s ship, Codman’s father retired and built the house where Codman now lives. His father didn't live long after the house was finished so when Codman married his first wife, Codman and his bride moved in Codman's house. During their marriage, they had eight children but unfortunately none of them survived. The only living heir he has is his daughter from this marriage. The girl’s name is Rachel.”

At that moment Captain Codman turned around and glared at someone behind Adam’s pew. John and Sam followed Captain Codman’s gaze toward the back of the cathedral. Captain Codman stared at a young man. The young man removed his tricorn hat ushering a pretty woman who was obviously with child and two young boys into the sanctuary. Sam Adams nodded at the couple that John Adams was watching.

“That’s Kanter Thorton. Captain Codman makes no bones about the fact that he hates Thorton. I can’t understand why though. Got what he wanted when he married Drusilla. I guess some men just aren’t happy no matter what they have.”

John looked at the two boys following Kanter Thorton into the sanctuary. Each was smaller version of Kanter Thorton.

“Are those Thorton’s boys?”

“Yes, sure are, fine strapping boys too. Any man would be proud to claim them as his own.”

“Maybe those boys are the reason Codman hates Thorton. Codman only has a daughter.”

“I don’t think so. Codman hated Thorton before Thorton ever had a son. I've heard from several people that Mr. Codman claims Mrs. Codman cheats on him but I'm sure there's no way she could cheat on him. The servants spy on her and report back to him every move she makes.”

John Adams watched Kanter Thorton and his family enter the Thorton pew. Kanter stepped aside to allow the woman to enter the pew. She wore a shirred silk bonnet over her dust cap and carried in her hand a fresh handkerchief and a well-worn Bible and a sprig of dried lavender.

“His wife’s pretty, isn’t she.”

“Yes she is. Her name is Sarah. She was Raven Masters’ daughter. You remember Raven Masters. He came down with me to visit your father, when you were just a little boy.”

“I remember Raven Masters. He always smelled of horses and hickory smoke and boy, could he tell a yarn. I remember one he told about two horse thieves on the frontier. Why he. . .”

Sam Adams put up his hand and shook his head. Church wasn't the time or the place for that story. That wasn’t the only reason; he had his own story to tell.

“Good man, that Raven Masters. From what I’ve heard about Kanter Thorton, so is he. Kanter married Sarah a couple of years before Raven died and after the Codmans had their little girl—Rachel. The gossipers said that Kanter married Sarah for her father’s money. I understand Raven left everything he had to Kanter and Sarah because Sarah was his only child. He would have left all his money to them anyway. Raven liked Kanter for the man he was. Raven always talked well of his young protégée.”

“I assume Thorton apprenticed under Masters.”

Samuel nodded. “It’s my opinion that Thorton has become an even better blacksmith than Masters was. And that says a lot because Raven Masters was one of the best. I wouldn’t take my blacksmithing to anyone but Thorton for half the price and you know how frugal I am.”

John Adams had to take his cousin’s word for it because he knew that his cousin wasn’t frugal at all. He looked from the prosperous young businessman behind him to the pathetic, frightened woman who sat in the pew two seats in front of him. “And you say he was an indentured servant too?”

“That’s right. I know what you’re thinking, cousin, it wasn’t Mrs. Codman who bettered her station in life,” Samuel Adams replied.

John nodded. “Somehow I doubt Mrs. Codman married Codman for his money. I’d say there’s a lot more to their story than anyone knows.”

“If I were a betting man, I’d bet you're right,” Sam Adams replied.

A hush fell over the congregation. The service was ready to begin. The Reverend Elliot walked into the enclosure and closed the door behind him. He disappeared for a moment and like when he was a child, John counted the seconds from the time he closed the door until his head appeared through the trap door at the top of the pulpit. Reverend Elliot adjusted his horn rim glasses and looked down at his notes. He cleared his throat. He had done all the motions for settling in to giving a long sermon.

John stifled a yawn and nestled back against the hard wooden pew. He sat at attention like a good soldier of the cross. Like the other adults in the church, he was prepared to endure the wordy Sabbath message of the morning. He leaned forward in such a way that it cushioned his backside. Reverend Elliot took a deep breath and started to speak in his low droning voice. This was indeed going to be a long sermon.

The following evening at the gray house on Middle Street Rachel Codman stood in her upstairs bedroom and stared at her reflection in the blurry tin mirror she kept on a shelf. She pulled her brush through the tangles in her blond wavy hair. Her pale blue eyes shone back at her. She ran her hand through a wing of hair and tucked it behind her ear. She smiled at the blurry but pretty face staring back at her.

She heard a thump and a moan from downstairs. She frowned.

“Not again,” she thought. She set down the brush and walked over to the stairwell.

There at the foot of the stairs her father towered over her mother sprawled out on the floor in front of him. Her father had evidently just struck her mother and he was holding his hand in the air to strike her again. Her hair disheveled her skirt up exposing her legs up to her knees. She reached up and touched the angry red mark in the shape of a man's hands that spread across her cheek.

Rachel's father backhanded her mother and knocked her across the floor. Her body sprawled like a discarded rag doll across the coarse fibers of the rag rug covering the hardwood floor and her face hit hard against the hearth.

Rachel shook her head. “I wonder what she has done this time.”

This situation was nothing new to Rachel. Scenes like this one between Rachel's father and mother were commonplace. Rachel couldn’t remember a time her mother wasn’t getting into trouble. Usually the things that her father said that her mother did didn't make sense to Rachel but Rachel was only a child and she wasn't expected to understand. Sometimes Rachel wanted tell her father that her mother didn't do anything but her mother had warned her many times to never come between them when her father was angry. Rachel had enough sense to listen to her mother. She wanted no part of her father's temper or his wrath.

“Don’t think I didn’t hear about you being at the market today. I saw the way you couldn’t keep your eyes off that Thorton fellow.”

“I was buying produce,” Drusilla argued.

“Oh, don't lie to me! You’ve been cheating on me with him again, haven’t you?”

“That's ridiculous and you know it!”

“It used to be that I could take you before the deacon board at the church and you'd get what was coming to you. I wish the church wasn’t so easy on women these days. It would have been the stocks for you in the old days. You’d have been branded with the mark of an adulterer just on my say so.”

“So this was about that Thorton fellow again,” Rachel sighed. He seemed to stock most of his anger on this Kanter Thorton.

Rachel barely knew who this Thorton fellow was. She had seen Kanter Thorton at church with his wife and two little boys but he never spoke to her father or her mother for any reason. She probably wouldn't even know who Kanter Thorton was if it wasn’t for the many beatings her mother received because father accused her mother of sneaking away with this man.

Her mother’s whole body was shaking. She turned to face him. A trickle of blood flowed from her lip.

“You’re crazy. When would I possibly have had the opportunity? You've got those slaves of yours reporting back to you every move I make!”

Rachel knew that was true. She knew that the slaves had strict orders not to let her out of their sight. She knew that they feared her father’s wrath if they shirked this duty. She knew as well as they did they would suffer even harsher punishments than the beatings he gave his wife.

“I've never seen anyone as worthless as you are!”

He always said that she was worthless anytime that he didn't have a better reason. Rachel watched him kick her mother in the side. Her mother cried out in pain and he then kicked her again this time in the back. Again she cried out. He raised his hands in a gesture of aggravated, mocking helplessness.

“I don't know why I bother with you.”

He turned around raised his hands again in the same gesture. He opened the front door and left the house, slamming the door behind him.

Rachel's mother lay there for quite a while and Rachel watched her from her vantage point on the stairs. Her mother was weeping. After a few minutes Rachel's mother got up, ran her hand through her hair and then over her dress to remove some of the wrinkles. She limped across the room, opened her bedroom door, went into the room and closed the door.

Rachel turned back from the stairs and looked at herself again in the tin mirror. She frowned. She had her mother’s face with the same blue eyes and the same waves in her hair. Rachel thought about her father spending so much time at the cemetery visiting the grave of his first wife and the eight children she had born. Rachel thought about how much love and anguish her father showed when he went to visit the monument to them. She knew that he didn't have that kind of love for her. She knew that he had wanted a boy when she was born so she was a disappointment to him her from the beginning. She could understand why he wanted a son. Every man wants a son. What she didn’t understand was--what was wrong with her that she wasn't worth more to him than those eight dead children? She shrugged her shoulders. At least he didn't beat her like he did her mother.

The beatings must be her mother’s fault. Her mother must have done something really terrible for her father to hate her so much. She picked up the brush again and drew it through her hair. She wished her mother were more trustworthy then maybe her father would love her too. This had to be all her mother's fault. If she would just behave and do what her husband expected, maybe then Rachel’s father would look at Rachel and love her.

With each stroke of her hair brush Rachel grew angrier and angrier at her mother. What was wrong with her mother that she wouldn't learn to obey her husband?

In the room below where Rachel Codman was brushing her hair the African slave Phoebe crept out of the shadows like a frightened animal. She was a full grown woman of about twenty years old but she was a petite woman the smallest of Codman’s three slaves. She seemed even smaller when she was afraid that she would be the brunt of Codman's wrath. She scurried like a mouse through the kitchen over to the water bucket in the corner and wet a rag. She looked to right and then to the left then knocked at Drusilla's bedroom door. Drusilla opened it.

Drusilla thanked the young woman and took the offered cloth and closed the door between them. She dabbed the cloth on her face. She trembled as she gingerly touched her tongue to the bitter tasting flow at the corner of her mouth then blotted the blood from it with the cloth. Her jaw throbbed. She touched the cloth to the tender area on her cheek.

Drusilla looked in the looking glass on her bureau. She examined the damage done to her face. She knew she would have to cover that bruise before she went anywhere. Shame always belonged to the woman who received the bruise rather than to the man who did the injury. The authorities would say that Codman beat her because she had been a bad wife. Husbands didn't beat good wives, they beat bad ones. There was no way local church clergy would believe that upstanding deacon like John Codman could ever be a bad husband. He gave too much money to the church for that to be true. What kind of discernment could the church clergy have if they named someone a deacon who was a bad husband? The case would be final before it even started. John Codman was a fine upstanding moral man; the woman was at fault.

Another thing that stood against Drusilla was Codman’s long history as a pillar of the community. Thirty years earlier Codman had married his first wife right here in Boston. His first wife had been a socialite in good standing. She was admired by all for her frugality and her ability to keep her home in a way every other Boston wife envied. John Codman had been proud of his first wife. She managed the home alone while her husband was at sea. She birthed, raised and then buried all of their eight children, all before any of them were the age of seven.

Then one day while Codman was out to on one of his many ocean voyages, she herself was struck with scarlet fever. He found out about her death four months after she was buried when he finally returned to Boston. After her death, he resented the sea for keeping her from him. After that he sold his ship and its cargo and refused to return to the sea.

Codman knew that Drusilla didn’t love him when they married but he thought he would eventually change her heart. She refused. When he realized that he trapped himself into a loveless marriage he blamed Drusilla for letting him down in the same way the sea had let him down. Unlike the sea, however, he could not divorce Drusilla. Massachusetts law made it virtually impossible for him to divorce Drusilla and still keep his standing in the community. Because he liked the way people admired him, he could not divorce her, like it or not, he was stuck with this wife till death they do part.

Codman always complained that Drusilla did not care for the household like his first wife had. He didn’t consider the fact that Drusilla was forty years younger than her husband and didn’t have the experience. When she was a young girl and still an indentured servant she had been eager to learn and she had done well. Codman was impressed with her progress and with how she trained the slaves. After Codman forced her to marry him, however, she no longer cared about learning anything new or doing anything beyond what was absolutely necessary. That started a vicious cycle. The more he beat her or verbally attacked her, the less she cared about the house, cooking meals, or taking care of herself, the more he hated her, the more he abused her. She no longer cared about anything. She had little desire left to become more skilled and confident in her abilities. She hated her husband and she didn't really care that she didn’t please him.

Drusilla was smart enough to know that since Codman couldn't divorce her, she’d better not question his motives either. For any truly good reason, he would take her before the church board and have her chastened publicly. Even though Codman said that women were not punished like they had been in the past, she had witnessed first hand what when women complained about their husbands’ mistreatment of them. Drusilla had known two women who used to be members of The Old North Church and had been excommunicated. Because Boston's social activities centered on the church any woman who was excommunicated from the church was totally excommunicated from all of Boston society and suffered isolation. Drusilla understood how they must have felt. She too suffered a lonely existence even though she wasn't officially excommunicated. Because Codman was so suspicious of her, she couldn't have any friends. There was no way she could go out of the house without Codman accusing her of betraying him. Codman’s obsession with the idea that Kanter Thorton and Drusilla were in a liaison kept Drusilla so closely watched that she was isolated from Boston society.

Drusilla sighed. She didn't know how long she could take his mental and physical cruelty. The hope of an eventual end of all of it was all that kept her from killing herself. She refused to be the one who ended it all for herself. There were days when she prayed that day would be the day when in his fit of rage he would get so angry that he would accidentally finish the job. Mr. Codman would never admit to being responsible for killing her.  He would blame her death on an accident or perhaps say she committed suicide.

Drusilla wondered if Mr. Codman might at that very minute secretly be planning her demise. One day while at church Drusilla heard someone ask him where she got all of her bruises and he said that she fell down the stairs and marveled at how clumsy she was. Another time, she heard him tell one of the other deacons of the church that she was mentally unstable. Drusilla was sure that if she ended up dead at his hand, he'd get away murder. No one would question him. The legal system and the church would have already been prepared to believe that if she died, she did it to herself.

Drusilla wasn’t afraid to die. Death couldn't be any worse than living this miserable life she was living. She was resigned to the idea that only death would deliver her from this brutal life. But she couldn’t die, not yet. She had to fight to live. She had to stay alive for Rachel’s sake.

Rachel looked too much like Drusilla did when she was a young girl. She was also getting closer and closer to the age that Drusilla was when Mr. Codman had met her. Drusilla was afraid eventually Mr. Codman would turn his rage on Rachel. Codman may have told one of the deacons that Drusilla was insane but often Drusilla questioned Mr. Codman’s sanity. If he ever suddenly believed that Rachel was Drusilla, Drusilla had to be there to protect her daughter. If Drusilla were dead, Rachel was at the complete mercy of her father. Drusilla wouldn’t that happen.

Drusilla couldn't explain nor could she understand why she loved her daughter as much as she did. At first she resented the not yet born baby that took her freedom from her but once the child was conceived Drusilla couldn’t end the pregnancy. Yes, there were times in the beginning of her pregnancy that she hoped somehow she would lose the child and then she would be able to run away and never come back to this horrible place but she would never take another life.

She remembered the first time she actually felt the child moving within her. She would never forget the awe she felt when she felt the child's movement within her about five months into her pregnancy. She remembered how she gradually began to accept this child, not as an evil emissary but as a victim of these circumstances in much the same way Drusilla was. She remembered the long drawn out labor, the long hours dragging out over two long torturous days.  She remembered welcoming the pain. She had hoped that perhaps this would be the end of her life and she could take the baby with her to her death. But it wasn't the end. Rachel was born early in the morning on February first twelve years ago. From the first moment that Doctor Clarke laid the infant daughter in her arms, she knew that in his child, she found love again. She loved her daughter.

Drusilla wiped her hand across her mouth. She would never let Rachel be treated this way. The red of blood streaked across her hand. She wiped it off onto the cloth that Phoebe had given her.

Drusilla reminisced about the day her daughter was born. She remembered holding her precious daughter in her arms. Rachel, as a newborn, lovingly gazed into her mother’s eyes. In Rachel’s eyes, Drusilla saw a light from heaven. The light in her child's eyes promised better days ahead for Drusilla, like crocuses blooming through the snow at the end of winter.

Slowly Drusilla sank down onto her bed. She sighed. Spring wasn’t coming to Drusilla’s life. She had no illusions what was in store for her in her future. There would be no heaven for her. Some day the grave would claim her and that would be the end. She doubted heaven’s existence.  God would never again shine his face on her life. Her only prayer was that she could hold out until Rachel was safely married and out of the house. Only then could Drusilla let go of this feeble painful existence. After that no one would even have to care that she ever existed.

A cold draft of wind blew around her window and she began to shake from the cold in the room. Wearily she snuggled under the blankets on her bed. Outside, under her bay window crocuses lay dormant waiting for the spring of 1753. As she dosed off to sleep is wondered if someday her life would arise from its dormancy like the crocus.

A shriek startled Drusilla awake. She bolted upright. Someone was screaming. She listened. It was Phyllis, one of the slaves. Phyllis kept screaming and screaming and she wouldn't stop screaming. At the same time Codman yelling at her.

“How dare you keep a secret like that from me?” He yelled. “Did you think you could keep this a secret from me? Do you know how much all this is going to cost me?”

“He wasn't able to take all of his anger out on me so now he's taking in out on Phyllis,” Drusilla thought. “Little wonder, that girl has been eating a lot more lately and has been getting fat. Master Codman doesn't take too kindly to gluttony.”

The physical and mental abuse that she had taken that day was taking its toll. Drusilla was too weary to stay awake and wonder what was happening. She started to drift off to sleep again.

She dreamed that Rachel was a baby again and that she was crying. Drusilla was lying on her bed and Rachel's cradle was where it had been sitting in Drusilla's room when Rachel was a baby. Drusilla got up from her bed and went over to the cradle and looked in. There in the cradle was the baby all dressed in a white gown. Drusilla bent down to try to comfort her. She picked up the baby and looked at the little one's face. Drusilla gasped. This wasn't her baby. This was some other baby. She couldn't exactly see the baby's face but she knew it was not Rachel.

She awoke with a start. She was relieved to realize that she was just dreaming.

“Please stop, please don't do it, we promise to be good, really we do. Just don't do it please. I'll tell you everything from now on, just please don't!” Mark the one male slave pleaded with Codman. “Please reconsider.”

“Too late,” Codman replied. “My mind is made up.”

Drusilla rolled over and frowned. Mark should have known better than to ask. John Codman never reconsidered anything.

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