They made me leave my family's house and stay at the rector's guest house while they decided who would do the examining. The rector's wife was very nice to me but told me I was to talk to no one, and to keep quiet about my shame.
She tried to get me to understand that meeting with Hans was sin and the work of the devil and that I would have to pay for my sins, as an example to the other young girls in the village.
I was horrified and felt that everyone was picking on me but, I suddenly started to believe them. They told me that my soul would go to hell and I would burn in eternal hell-fire if I did not seek forgivenss for sins with Hans.
I spent most of the two days crying, feeling like I had let everyone down, that maybe I did have bad blood in me and that is why my parents had given me up. Maybe, I thought, they felt the same way about me.
Maybe me and my entire life was cursed.
I didn't eat much and slept as much of the time as possible. But in my heart of hearts I loved Hans, even more it seemed since they found out that he and I spent days in the meadow.
Part of my mind felt they could punish me but they could not deprive me those happy times and no matter what happened I could keep Hans in my heart with me forever, forever in my mind, and forever in my soul.
Abruptly one afternoon, the rectors wife came to my little room and said:
"Come with me child, it is time." With that I rose and followed him to a tiny room just off to the left of the altar in the main church. I think it was a place where the choir gathered, small but with a table.
The rector's wife, who was a mid-wife as well, brought me in and the rector and two of the elders were there as well.
"Hello Eloise," the rector said.
"You know our elders here and of course, my wife and Mrs. Molaire here will be doing your examination today."
"Now what we want you to do is to get you to undress behind that screen with Mrs. Moliare and then come back and lie down on this table.
Church law requires us to examine you to see if that boy has defiled you, to see if your maiden-head is intact."
"Maiden-Head? I asked.
In my innocence I thought it meant they were going to see if any devil marks were on my body from Hans having kissed me.
But I was wrong.
I don't remember much of the examination so great was my mortification.
To be continued.