Stories from the Village of Hawthorne (The town in Snapshots In Time) Volume 3
My knee began to scream by the time I had locked up the shop, the agony beyond anything I had ever felt, but, in my defense, I can be a bit dramatic. Despite the pain, I was able to make a cup of tea, grab an ice pack and a box of lemon biscuits, and nestle right into my overstuffed sofa.
I settled in nicely and picked up the book. I read the title out loud. The History of the House with the Cemetery.
Number 8 The Short Life of Ship-born Sallie
She was born of an indentured servant and the captain of one of the Hawthorne’s Shipping boats. The ship docked for a week during the summer of 1732, and, so happy was the captain not to have missed the birth of his son, he had the fully pregnant woman brought to him.
Amelia Hastings protested bitterly as the sailors practically dragged her out of the house and down towards the dock. Her midwives refused to follow her to the ship, because good women didn’t go down to the docks. Unfortunately for Amelia, she was mistaken as a witch by the sailors.
The carefully polished tops of her leather slippers dragged on the rocky soil before hitting the dusty sand down the path to the ship. Her water broke as she was being hoisted up onto the deck of the vessel. Amelia’s angry words swiftly turned to frightened sobs.
“You scrub, you puff-gut lobcock.” Captain Hastings face was the color of an over boiled lobster and his hands were shaking when he grabbed one of the sailors by the collar and threw him towards the wall. “That’s my baby,” he bellowed as he kicked the other sailor out of the room.
“We were told to fetch the witch and bring her.”
“She’s not a witch.” Captain Hastings pushed the shorter of the two sailors out of the way and practically dragged the crying woman to his quarters.
Sometime the next morning, even before the sky started to lighten, Amelia Hastings took her last breath as Sallie Hastings took her first.
Very shortly after, the Captain buried his wife in the village cemetery, left the baby with a wet nurse, and went back out to sea; after all, it was just a girl.
Sallie became known as the baby born on a ship. The baby Sallie didn’t make it through the winter,and since she couldn’t be buried until the spring, she was buried in a chest underneath the steps of the home he had built for his Amelia and forgotten there. To this day, Amelia walks around the cemetery looking for her lost baby, even as the baby cries for its mother from underneath the porch.
I put down the book and waited for the ghosts to show up, as they had before, but nothing happened. There were no cries, no moaning, no apparition, nothing. I took a sip of my tea, now just a bit more than warm, and asked myself if I dared read the next story in this bizarre book.
Opening the book and turning to the next story, I found a piece of newspaper stuck between the pages.
Anita Wentworth: Journalist
Sallie Hasting’s body was exhumed from her resting place at the new sewing shop. The infant’s remains were interred with her mother’s. Reuniting mother and child after almost a century.
“Huh,” I said out loud “That’s different. It must be why I haven’t heard the baby crying or the mother’s searching moans.
Deciding I had had enough for one night, I hobbled off to bed.