“Show yourself!” the crowd thundered, beating and clawing at the cottage door.
Summer came too early to Abyzon that year. The winter had been mild and the people thanked God. But then the spring rains forgot to fall, and the earth turned barren. Planting and replanting, only to watch every shoot wither and die, cast a pall over the farming village. Sins were repented, promises were made, belts were tightened. But summer stretched far into spring, and visited death upon the crops and livestock. No one could remember a hotter June, or a July anything like this one.
In the midst of the drought, Jacob continued to work. But when he walked through the square, he found that the usual chorus of bemused expressions and flippant remarks had been replaced by outright hatred.