A failing witchfinder arrives in an East Anglian village in search of work. Desperate for the wealth and fame a big trial could bring, all he finds is an uncouth local woman accused of killing a pig.
Bannister must travel to Chelmsford with Thomasine to put on a show trial; his captive is the worst possible travel companion, and threatens to make a straightforward journey a life-changing ordeal.
Thomasine's interventions have taken them wildly off course and Bannister has to plot a route through Dedham Vale on foot. The locals are rumoured to be lawless savages but he has little choice if they are to get to Chelmsford on time.
Bannister fears Thomasine might not make it to Chelmsford alive and she's no good to him dead. To keep the locals from killing her, they are forced to pose as husband and wife.
The Dedham ordeal has softened his hostility but when Bannister indulges Thomasine by letting her go for a swim, she is snatched and dragged away to a ransacked church. Bannister can't let someone else try her before he reaches Chelmsford.
Thomasine and Bannister arrive in Chelmsford, but no longer as travel companions. When Hebble gets Thomasine jailed, Bannister meets the Witchfinder General and is handed the opportunity he's been dreaming of, to put her on trial.
Daisy May Cooper
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