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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WHAT did Brother Smith see? Only two girls whom he had seen daily for years, but who now appeared to him in a different light, for Brother Leeson's gallantry told him these children were marriageable.

"I have it. There's that Helsie. She is too hugly for anyone to want to marry her; but she'll be pre- | | 166 cious useful to me, for if she ain't pretty she knows a lot; got quite a knack of teaching, too. Now I'll marry her for the school. Elder Silvertung ought to be glad to get her off his hands. She is such a homely thing. It will be no pleasure, but it will be money in the pocket. And then if I can get Kleena; she is a regular beauty. That old Leeson seems crazy over her. It is a glorious hidea: a revelation. There will be the income from the school without any trouble on my part. A man of my talent has hother things to think of besides school drudgery. A teacher and a wife hall for nothing but her board. Then, too, I can add to the dairy,: that Kleena has a strong arm. Of course they will both jump at the chance--a young, good-looking man like me, with a good farm, dairy and school, and the largest house in the place."

Thus soliloquizing, Brother S. posed himself as gracefully as his legs allowed him, and smilingly awaited the arrival of the two girls.

The elder, who might have numbered seventeen summers, was a well-built, clear-skinned, rosy-cheeked Norwegian, whose muscular limbs an athlete might have envied; and the heavy bust, full, sleepy eye; the dull flaxen hair told of a mild, prolific temperament, untroubled by vagaries of the mind, or spiritual aspirations. A fine specimen of the human kine with whom polygamy agrees.

Such was Kleena, the belle of Smithville, the cynosure of all polygamous eyes.

Her companion was a slender girl of fifteen years, taller than Kleena, but wretchedly thin: only saved from gaunt angularity by symmetry and smallness of bone. Her features were fine and regular; but their | | A worn expression, and the dull, colorless skin marred their beauty. Even the eyes, dark and lustrous, shaded by curled, ebon lashes, increased the homeliness of the face by their size, and the restless, wistful, haunted look, that dwelt in their depths. Her hair, black and abundant, was twisted up in utter disregard of appearances.

Poor Elsie Lascelle! It was not strange that sensual minds considered her plain. Yet an artist would have said:

"What a beautiful girl if--yes, if happiness could wave its magic wand over her; then, indeed, she would be beautiful."

Brother Smith received the girls with bows and smiles. He prided himself upon his politeness, and he was desirous of eclipsing Brother Leeson.

Kleena appeared delighted with his attentions, but Elsie felt annoyed, and as soon as she made her purchases she ran home, leaving Kleena and Brother Smith to captivate each other.

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