The Changes by Peter Dickinson Part Five
The robbers are routed and everyone is safe. The villagers make friends with the Brooker's Farm group and all seems to be well. The local children and Brooker's farm children all play together and Nicky and Gopal notice that the young children do not seem to be bothered by playing near machines.
Later Chacha speaks to Nicky about the fact she is unhappy and that she should try to find her Aunt who lives not too far away. The next day she is to leave in search of her Aunt's house. Everyone is sad to see her go. Nicky leaves with one of the villagers on a horse and cart. The roads are pretty bad full of pot-holes especially with no council maintenance (nothing new there then) and all of a sudden the cart crashes to the ground as a wheel comes off. Nicky is hurt and the cart's owner goes off on horse back for help. He is away a long time during which Nicky wakes up and gathers her belongings before going on her way. She is not well and appears to be suffering from a mild concussion. She soon arrives at a large farm and enters one of the buildings in order to rest. She goes unnoticed by the farm owners. They are busy with their own problems. The owner of the farm has become friendly with an evil man who spends all his time hunting for witches and wickedness. The farmer's wife and grown up children totally disagree with the witch hunter but keep quiet through fear of what he may do to them.
The next morning Nicky wakes up unsure of where she is. She stumbles against a tractor and accidentally drops the hand brake. The tractor moves forward and hits some old empty churns. The witch finder hears the noises and eventually catches and binds Nicky's hands. He says she is a witch to have been in the presence of such evil. Nicky is put on trial for being a witch and the local villagers find her guilty. Peter the farm owner and his son Jonathon are uneasy about the verdict as she, Nicky, is just a young girl.
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