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 III.
SCANDAL AMONG THE SMITHVILLE SAINTS.

WHEN the school-master entered the store, he found, besides the usual clique, Brother Leeson, of patriarchal fame, and Elder Silvertung, who looked as young and smiling as when he revealed the will of the Lord to Mary | | 162 Lascelle. They were all deeply absorbed in conversation, and the eager expression of the faces showed that something more than common was under discussion.

"What is it?" anxiously inquired Brother S.

"Brother Menly has fallen from grace."

The news revived the school-master.

"There, now, hain't I a prophet? I told you so, you know. I knowed he would come to the bad."

"So you always said, Brother Smith. Well, we all felt something was wrong when he refused to build up the kingdom."

"Satan clutched him some time ago. To think how he imposed upon the Church with that meek way of hisn!"

"What's disgraced him now in headquarters?"

"Preached against blood atonement and polygamy."

"The vile apostate!" in chorus.

"Says that men and women have a right to think for themselves, and should do it."

"Well, now, for the men, that wouldn't be so bad; but for the women, it wouldn't do nohow."

"I should say not. Just think of my eight women, each with a religion and opinions of her own. There would be some fine scratching. Why, such a doctrine would subvert all order, and anyone who dares preach it will go to hell, and I would like to give him a lift upon the road."

"So would I, Brother Leeson," chorused the Saints.

"I guess we'll have to do a little surgery to cure Menly's disease. We haven't had any of that work this long time. My hands are aching for want of use."

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"Yes; Elder, tell us the orders. Any blood-letting?"

"My dear friends, you horrify me with your out-spoken jokes. Why do you forget the Lord's injunction? I suppose you wish to know whether the Church intends to assure his salvation?"

"That's the question, Elder. We ain't got your soft way of putting it, you know."

"Are we to assure his salvation?" in chorus.

"I am sorry for his sake to be obliged to tell you--no. The Church considers his crime too great for salvation. He is to go to perdition without let or hindrance."

"Them's the orders?"

"They are."

"The Church drops him."

"Drops him completely. No one is to speak with him, notice him, or deal with him."

"Well, we can answer for Smithville doing her duty in that. He shall be let alone with a vengeance."

"A glorious punishment. The very best. His friends (there are plenty round about) would like nothing better than to make a martyr of him."

"That's so. But how about his wife, whom he pretends to love so much? Wouldn't it be a holy judgment upon this contemner of celestial marriage if the Lord would take his one wife to Himself?"

"It would indeed be a just judgment. She has always been rebellious."

"Rebellious! I should think so; doing all she could to prevent our girls going into polygamy; and then allowing that nephew of hers to insult authority--you remember?"

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"We remember" (in chorus). "They actually gave a tea-party without permission; yes, and drank tea,--yes, we remember."

"That is not all. When pardon for such conduct was asked in full meeting, I saw her smile."

"Such wickedness cannot be allowed in Smithville."

"There is no danger of any one making a holy martyr of Emily Menly."

"Poor thing! she is misguided by her husband. It would be a great act of charity to send her to heaven."

"A charity, for which she ought to be grateful."

"Well, brethren, to-morrow evening we will have a special meeting. Do not fail to come."

Elder Silvertung passed out. The brethren formed themselves into groups of twos and threes, and began whispering. Brother Leeson went to the door, followed by Brother Smith.

"Bad case, this of Menly's."

"A warning, Brother Smith, a warning to those who are remiss in fulfilling the Everlasting Covenant."

Brother Leeson with eight wives gave himself airs.

"The Good Spirit speaks through you, Brothers. "My mind's been rather troubled of late about that very thing. It seems to me, I could and ought to do much more towards building up the kingdom."

"That's right, Brother, it cheers me to see you growing zealous." The many-wived man made this remark hurriedly: at the same time, he smoothed his moustache and beard, gave his hat a tip to one side a la cavalier, straightened himself, then walked up the street with a dandified step.

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These proceedings aroused the curiosity of Brother Smith. Was it possible that Brother Leeson was not yet satisfied?

That the man of eight wives and forty-seven children still sighed for more?

Was his heart so large that this number could not fill it?

Now if Brother Smith had studied classic lore, it would have seemed to him only natural that Brother Leeson should desire to make his eight the "Sacred Nine." But such studies did not suit his practical mind, and Brother Leeson's manner worried him. However, if he knew nothing of legends, he knew enough about spying; and he posted himself so as to watch the gallant patriarch.

A few minutes' observation discovered to him the secret of the manœuvering. The discovery was a revelation that coincided exactly with his desires. This coincidence is a peculiarity of revelations. Brother Smith's heart overflowed with thanksgiving.

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