Beck Center English Dept. University Libraries Emory University
Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

My Queen, an electronic edition

by Sandette [Walsh, Marie A.]

date: 1878
source publisher: G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers; S. Low, Son & Co.
collection: Genre Fiction

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CHAPTER XVI.
JED'S MULE.

SOME writer has said that woman is at the bottom of all mischief. Had he lived among the "Saints" he might have added: "Sometimes it is a mule." Yes, once there was a great deal of mischief, and a woman had nothing to do with it.

It was all about a mule.

History does not mention any remarkable traits about the mule. It could not speak, like Balaam's ass; neither was it a mule of consequence because of its master's fame--on the contrary, this mule gave renown to his master. It gave him a vocation. But that mule did much more than this.

It inaugurated the reform.

The reform fostered blood-atonement.

From blood-atonement sprang the Danites, alias the Destroying Angels, who polluted Columbia's fair brow with the gory stain of Mountain Meadows.

Only a mule, yet it caused the world to shudder.

It happened thus:

The "Saints" were rapidly becoming monomaniacs. Their mania, repentance. For some time a crisis had seemed inevitable. Isolation, suffering, continual meditation upon the sanguinary record of the Israelites, and horrors of the book of Mormon,had done their work.

The failure of the hand-cart expedition intensified this morbid sense of sin and fear of God's judgments.

Reason was trembling, tottering upon its throne. | | 81 Such was the condition of the people that thronged one of the meeting-houses in Zion when a man suddenly cried out, as if inspired:

"Woe, woe unto us! In vain have we fled from the iniquity of Babylon, when the children of God turn from holiness to abominations, when they seek after lying, and hunger for the flesh-pots of Egypt. Brother Grabbin stole my mule, and when God looks down upon us he sees that mule and turns away in wrath. Woe, woe unto us! Brother Grabbin denies he stole my mule, and the Lord visits us with condemnation, for we harbor iniquity. Repent, repent, children of Israel! Arise! confess your sins and repent. Quick, quick, before God destroys us with famine and the sword. Don't let a mule kick us out of the celestial kingdom. Arise, brethren, before it is too late-arise, and repent."

This address destroyed all mental equilibrium; it determined the crisis. Men and women accused themselves and each other of sins, real and imaginary. Faster, faster, accusation followed accusation; louder grew the cries. The meeting-house became a Babel with the sobs, groans, prayers, for baptism. The people were crazed; the craze extended far and wide. Every stream was thronged with men and women, imploring baptism. And as the madness grew, the chief looked on and smiled.

"It is well," he murmured. "Now for the extermination of the enemies of Israel!"

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