Of the time when the Evil One was believed to walk abroad is motherless Ann Archer whose marriage to Roger Evesham is pursued with clouds of witches and witchcraft. For Tibby's jealousy of her new mistress drives Ann to lie about her so that Roger will not learn that her love and heart are Saul Razard's and when Tibby is jailed for being a witch Ann's lonely conscience prods her into trying to help. Roger stands by his theory that there is inequality in the laws as they affect gentry and the poor in his help for Tibby and her suicide stigmatizes him and Ann. Letting himself be accused and tried and killed in his proof that these are deaths for no sin but other men's fears and greater ""faith in the Devil's power than in God's"". Ann, being pregnant, does not hang, and, having fought her love for Saul while she learned to love her husband, bears her baby and is reunited with Saul. A first person telling makes this an introspective examination and an intimate picture of panic growing, of love and love's confusion, of a few men of good will and their mass-minded opposites, and brings Puritan living warmly closer, particularly for a feminine audience.