The affair being so satisfactorily concluded, Hester Prynne,
with Pearl, departed from the house. As they descended the
steps, it is averred that the lattice of a chamber-window was
thrown open, and forth into the sunny day was thrust the face of
Mistress Hibbins, Governor Bellingham's bitter-tempered sister,
and the same who, a few years later, was executed as a witch.
"Hist, hist!" said she, while her ill-omened physiognomy seemed
to cast a shadow over the cheerful newness of the house. "Wilt
thou go with us to-night? There will be a merry company in the
forest; and I well-nigh promised the Black Man that comely
Hester Prynne should make one."
"Make my excuse to him, so please you!" answered Hester, with a
triumphant smile. "I must tarry at home, and keep watch over my
little Pearl. Had they taken her from me, I would willingly have
gone with thee into the forest, and signed my name in the Black
Man's book too, and that with mine own blood!"
"We shall have thee there anon!" said the witch-lady, frowning,
as she drew back her head.