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1878: Mr Smithwick – The Corn Mother 4/52

The Corn Mother novella weekly serialisation artwork

That’s just what we need. That old tittle-tattle Mrs Worthword has been gossiping and saying that Ms Jessop has been wandering the fields at night so that she can curse the crops. That she practises witchcraft and was responsible for the crops failing last decade, when anybody with common sense knows it was a natural blight and too much wet weather that did for them.

The problem is that the villagers are scared. They remember that ruinous year all too well and they’re worried it will come again. They’re just ordinary, simple folk and they put far too much trust in folk tales.

Most of their families have lived and worked here for generations without things changing all that much but with the new steam engines they’re worried that they’ll lose their livelihoods and be forced to leave and live amongst the smokestacks in the city.

We need to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand.


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