• As Martha Hale leaves her house to join her husband on a cold winter's day, she casts a hasty glance around her kitchen.
• Martha had been in the middle of making bread when she and her husband were called upon by the sheriff to assist in a murder case.
• Martha's husband calls her as she hovers in the doorway, reluctant to leave with the kitchen in such a state, and she hurriedly closes the door and gets into the big two-seater buggy.
• The woman sitting next to her on the back seat of the buggy is Mrs. Peters, the sheriff's wife, whom Martha has met once and decidedly dislikes.
• Mrs. Peters is not in any way as a sheriff's wife should be, in Mrs. Hale's opinion; she is small, thin and softly spoken, unlike the previous sheriff's wife in every way.
• Sheriff Peters, however, makes...
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