1692 c/o Devan Goldstein

Where Gil Wasn't
Giles Corey / Pressed to Death / Sept 19, 1692
—From a gravestone in the Salem Cemetery.

Millie and I both know Gil’s no witch. He told me the charges were bogus last week at cards. And not witch cards, either: good settler games like Mother Hen and Who’s the Redskin?

But there’s Gil, lying next to the gallows, with the Big Board on his chest and Vinny piling rocks on the Big Board.

And fuck Vinny. He should know better. He could get lots of other jobs in Salem—he doesn’t need this rock-piling thing, not bad enough to pile rocks on Gil. I know Gil always beats him at Handstands, but still.

Why won’t Gil tell them he wasn’t out witching that night? It’s like Millie said on our way here: Just because a dog dies near a guy’s house, doesn’t make the guy a witch.
He’d just have to say where he was and they’d let him go, the idiot. If I wasn’t halfway to Boston that night, I’d say it for him. I don’t know where he was, but I know where he wasn’t.

I do wonder where he was, though, and how come none of the other guys saw him—not Horseshoe, not Vinny, not Apeshit, not Goodie (who we call “Goodie” on account of he can’t grow a beard).

I was going to ask him to be the kid’s godfather when Millie pops. I know it’s a long way away, but Gil’s a good guy, and Millie thinks he’s making a killing off those chicken fences of his. And why shouldn’t he be? It sure is nice not to have to kick chickens out of the way every time you go for some dry goods.

I do wonder where Gil was that night, the night they say he was out witching. I know he’s no witch, though. No witch could run a business as good as Millie says he runs that chicken-fence business of his.

More weight? Did Gil just yell for more weight? What a ballbuster, this guy. Man, Vinny must be laughing his ass off under that black mask. I hope Gil doesn’t squish under the Big Board like Aggie did. The Square smelled like Aggie for like a month and a half, until the frost came. Even the well water tasted funny.

I do wonder how Millie knows so much about Gil’s chicken-fence business. Millie and Tabitha aren’t so close, not since I kissed Tabitha anyway.

I wish Millie would let that go. A guy’ll do some stupid shit when he’s been huffing rotten onions. And what can I say? Tab’s a cutie. Sure, she’s Irish, but she passes. And if she’s good enough for Gil, she’s good enough for anyone.

Gil used to say the same thing about Millie. That’s where I got that from. “If she’s good enough for you,” he used to say, and then he’d wink at me, or, really, at her, but I knew he meant it for me.

I do wonder why he always winked at her, if he meant it for me. And I wonder why she’s crying so hard.

I do wonder where Gil was that night.