Martin says that he promises to be a good son to her and she promises him the same. Martin gives Anne a tender kiss on her forehead as the two men excuse themselves to the study. Herlofs says they have and she tells Anne that she once helped her mother be set free when she was denounced as a witch years ago. " Anne looks outside the window to see all the townspeople arriving as they already get a strong fire burning for the execution. Martin and Anne come into to check on Absalon and Martin says good night to his father and leaves Anne alone with her husband.
Absalon finally arrives home and his son wants to surprise him and so he hides in another room. While Anne is alone doing house chores in the rectory Herlofs Marte walks in and asks her to help hide her or the townspeople will burn her at the stake. When they hear someone coming Anne grabs Herlofs and hides her. She suddenly sees Herlofs Marte getting brought out as Martin decides to leave the crowd and not watch it. Meret than says, "Have you ever looked in Anne's eyes? "Anne, there is something we must discuss," Absalon says to her.
When this film was released and premiered in 1942 it was during the darkest times of the Nazi occupation of Denmark in which several Danes were being taking away and deported to death camps.
Even though you could look at this film as a historical document about the naïve, unscientific and irrational times in which people would simply accept and believe in such things as evil spirits, sorcery and witchcraft, when looking at the film at the time it was released it could be viewed more as a commentary or political allegory of the present times.
Laurentius tells Absalon that he is sick because Herlof's Marte during her interrogation put a curse on him and foretold an imminent death. He then asks his wife if she ever wished his death because he understands he did a great wrong by never asking her if she wished to marry him, and that is a wrong for which he could never make amends. I stand here by his coffin..offer you his mother's, his wife's and my own thanks for coming here today.
A violent storm erupts while Absalon is away comforting Laurentius at his home, while back at the Perdersson home the storm starts to get worse and Meret suggests that Martin go to meet his father halfway coming home; Anne suggests there's no use for Martin to go wandering in the dark and for them all to just wait there for Absalon. Anne finally lets out all her brutal honesty and coldly says to her husband, "Yes, it is true. My heart is so full of grief that God gave me a father greater and better than most men. Now that you have passed away, I am tormented by the grief I caused you.
Anna and Martin take a nice stroll outside and see the villager’s already gathering firewood for the upcoming burning. During bible reading time Anne asks her husband if she can read from the Song of Songs book and as she reads Meret rudely her that she has heard enough.
Later Absalon goes to Herlofs cell to prepare Herlofs Marte for death but she believes he had failed her. Afterwards while Anne is sowing and humming a song out loud Meret tells her to be quite but Anne ignores her and leaves to her room. " Absalon becomes frightened of her words and starts to yell for his son as he suddenly collapses and dies with Martin and Meret running down the stairs to find Absalon dead.
Martin and Anne run to the river and get in a row-boat as they float down the river. He then starts making sudden accusations towards her and asks her if she ever had the power to wish his father's death. Martin than admits that he wished his father dead as well and then Martin has Anne get on her knees in from of his dead father and make a swear saying, "I am not the cause of his death." When she does make that swear, Martin finally believes her and asks Anne if they will ever find each other again.
While floating down the river Martin asks Anne about their future and how hard it is for him to keep this up because he sees his father all the time. Anne says that what Martin is driving her say could lead her to get burned at the stake as she begs him to come to his senses because she loves him. Anne asks him who would prevent it and Martin says, "The dead." Anne says, "It's not the dead we should fear." She means Marty's grandmother Marte and the two agree they have sinned together but they must stand together.