"Hester, I have come by to bless you and to...," Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale's voice trailed off. However, it rose again to a barely audible whisper, "I can no longer live with this tremendous burden that weighs upon my heart as I watch you become a public disgrace at my expense. The guard believes I have visited you strictly for the purpose to give you God's grace and to convince you to release the identity of the father of your child." At the sound of his last words his forehead drew back and his hands clenched into fists.
"Reverend, today and among other days I have been viewed as a demon, an example towards others of the devil's work on earth, due to an act of passion." The tone of her voice grew stronger and she drew back her thick hair, "However, I will never release the name of Pearl's father if thou was stricken that his reputation shall be destroyed at my expense."
"No! I was just..."
Before he could attempt to finish his statement Hester's voice rose above and proclaimed, "Arthur, you need provide no explanation. I understand and take full responsibility for the birth of this young child Pearl," At the mention of the child's name the small bundle in Hester's arms involuntarily stirred and began to cry. "Shh, shh Pearl." Hester consoled the child with rocking motions.
A weak smile broke across the quite pale face of the Reverend and he said, "O Hester! You must know that I came to you to explain why I can no longer live in silence and I fully believe that the community must know who is Pearl's father."
"But!" Gasping and arching her back against the prison wall she grew anxious and exclaimed, "You are the highly regarded 'Angel of...