6) Verity is humiliated
The morning had a mighty dramatic start to it that came completely out of the blue. While strolling through the town I saw two men stride into the Tavern and come out soon after dragging Verity with them. She was shouting for her husband hoping the drunk would come to her aid but he just shouted ‘oi’ at them a few times, which of course didn’t stop the lads from taking her to the assembly hall as the bell rang. The assembly was called, but Verity was not the first to speak to the Governor, Marshall and Secretary. James Read was having some words with the Secretary while holding some paper that seemed to be the subject of their conversation. The Secretary gave the paper to the Governor and Marshall to briefly read. As the chatter from the townsfolk died down James stepped forward raising his hand slightly to get their attention so he could be able to speak.
“I have a petition to put before the Marshall, if I may. Henry Sharrow bought himself a maid for marrying. Since Henry’s no longer here to wed her, I am willing to pay for her,” Alice’s mouth gaped open and so did mine. My eyes fell to the floor as Silas stepped up to speak quickly.
“Marshall, I wish to marry Mistress Kett,” Alice looked like she would burst with worry.
“Are you prepared to meet the cost of her carriage to Virginia?” Marshall questioned.
“That fee’s already been paid,” replied Silas.
“Your brother borrowed one hundred and fifty pounds of tobacco from Master Massinger. That debt’s not been repaid,” The Marshall dismissed.
“I presumed I might take on the loan,” Silas replied making the Marshall frown at him in slight disgust. Silas was just a man who didn’t want to lose the woman he loved.
“Do you presume you might do with Master Massinger’s assets as you see fit?” The Marshall questioned silencing Silas.
“I have here, a promissory note,”
“NO!” Alice shouted in protest by Silas held her back and whispered to her to shush.
“I did not invite a woman to address the hearing!” The Marshall spat standing up from his chair. “The women are provided by the company!” he added as Alice looked away defeated. “I must consult with their agents before I make my ruling,” He added sitting back down. “Verity Rutter!” He shouted then the two men who dragged Verity into the assembly hall shoved her forward. I hoped the lass would hold her tongue and not make the Marshall cross, but the way she glared at the two lads made me worry. “You scolded your husband, demeaned him with foul tongue.”
“Sir,” Verity began chuckling at his accusation. “If to say that a man loves the tit is to dishonour him, then I fear I must slander every man o’this world,” She replied with a smirk making nearly every man in the hall laugh. The Marshall certainly did not find it funny.
“She should know better than to anger the Marshall,” I said to Alice before the Marshall looked at his men and nodded. They dragged her out the hall with the Marshall striding after them. She was put into the stocks and while the rest of the people in the hall came outside she glared at the smug Marshall resting his arm on top of the stocks.
“We have to do something,” Alice said to me and when Alice saw Mistress Castell she walked the small distance to her with me following.
“Ma’am, what are we to do?” She asked.
“You were kind to me on the ship, Alice. Women like yourself, Clara and Verity are helpless here, I am not.” She began then turned to look at Alice from the scene. “So perhaps I can be of benefit to you now,” She added with a smile.
“Any woman who sees fit to mock her betters will receive this same fate!” The Marshell stated loudly striding over to a nearby pig pen and picked up a bucket. “You have been brought here as the property of your husband, and you will behave accordingly!” He then dumped the bucket of pig shit over Verity making her flinch and shake. Me, Alice and Jocelyn all looked away at our friend not wanting to see the poor lass like that. I did hear her spit at the Marshell in disgust, and Jocelyn speak to the Marshell as she walked over to him gracefully.
“I appear to have found your glove. Allow me to return it to you,” She said holding up one of his dark leather gloves. The Marshall took it off her without saying thank you then he stormed off with the Secretary following him. Verity glared over at her husband as people started to go back to their business. I saw her brush her cheek against her shoulder wiping some of the shit off her face, and a tear that had escaped her eyes. The fact she didn’t wish to look weak in front of others did not surprise me. It also did not surprise me that when night came and I tried to clean her off while her husband sat by she protested. We, as well as Silas and Alice, stayed in the town while it was dark so that no more harm came to her. Alice and Silas were discussing what they would do about James Read’s request nearby. Could it be that James had feelings for Alice? That thought had crossed me mind, and it did make me disappointed since he was a handsome man, and I thought he was a fine one until now. If he did have feelings for Alice making her his wife even though she loved another was wrong. Yes, we had been brought to be made wives, but we agreed to it which means we had some kind of choice. This place was still cruel. Eventually, the two lads that put Verity in the stocks came to let her out. She was shaking with rage as Meredith lead her away.
“I will curse that man every day of my life until he dies in that mire he deserves,” She seethed.
“Hush Verity! You’ve said enough!” Alice scolded as we wandered to the Tavern.
“I am done with the beatings of men,” She began looking back to the direction of the church where the Reverand stood just in the doorway off.
“He’ll ’ave ya in the garrison if ya aren’t careful!” I warned her but she didn’t pay attention and shrugged her arm free of Meredith.
“Do you hear me?! Huh?! I curse the Marshall’s vile soul!” She shouted making me sigh and shake me head. This girl just would not learn.
“Verity!” Alice hissed then Meredith lead her into the Tavern with the rest of us following and trying to ignore the gazes of the men that were drinking. The look on the Reverand’s face made me worry for Verity. She had cursed the Marshall, and he heard that. He could go to the Marshall and say she was a witch, and then she would be in grave danger. But for now, Alice and I focused on helping her get clean and get to bed before we went to our homes.