In the spring of 1690, for example, Salem merchant and militia recruiter Bartholomew Gedney found the village farmers reluctant to leave their fields to go fight Indians, but he did persuade some "stout young men" to take up arms. A much greater loss to the village was the occasional death of some of these young men, as in the summer of 1691 when four died in the fighting. Persistent rumors (one as recent as fall 1691) that French soldiers or Indians had been seen in the vicinity kept the villagers on edge. Weather problems added to the unease in this village, which was so dependent on agriculture. In the summer of 1691, the region suffered through a serious drought, only to be followed by damaging floods in February and March 1692. Whether you collaborate with educated professional writer, it does not ensure excellent outcome.