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 XIV.
SISTER SARAH DINLY.

THE next event in this drama was Sister Dinly's party. Not that the party was one like those recorded in the annals of fashion. Indeed, as a party it was scarcely worth mentioning. But if this social gathering was commonplace in itself, the hostess, the occasion of the party, and its results, were unique and extraordinary. Sister Sarah Dinly was decidedly peculiar according to received ideas; but holy in repute was she among the Saints. Apostles pointed her out as a shining light, and bade the lukewarm follow her glorious example. She was president of the Relief Society of Josephville, secretary of the Woman's Cooperative Society, and chief spokeswoman of the Saintesses. Her portly figure, bright eyes, and dictatorial manner appeared delightfully refreshing among the sad, pinched, wan faces of our previous acquaintances.

Sister Sarah was not a beauty. A sharp nose, large features, sallow complexion and loud voice are not attributes of beauty. But she was a go-ahead woman and a Saint. Sanctity and go-aheaditiveness can dispense with beauty, and they generally do.

Sister Dinly was an apostle of marriage--plural marriage. She had commenced at the early age of eighteen by marrying John Dinly, a bashful, timid young man. Next, she tried to marry off her acquaintances. The moment she heard of a religion whose great feature was much marrying, she hastened to embrace it; and, with her husband, came to Zion.

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Her dream was to reign queen over a harem. But here she was balked by her husband's perverseness. To please her he had been baptized--he had come to Zion. But another wife--when he found one altogether too much--frightened him into firmness; and he said no, for the first time in his life. In vain she urged upon him the necessity of building up the kingdom, and brought counsel to bear upon him. He was deaf and blind. Then she represented to him the labor that devolved upon her, the only wife.

"Hire another gal," was the imperturbable answer.

She then talked to him of the humiliation awaiting them in the next world.

"Peace in this is all I ask." Poor Dinly! It was a vain asking, as long as there was an unmarried girl that pleased Sister Sarah's fancy.

Many a time, returning from his work, he would take a furtive glance through the window to see if any of the fair sex kept his wife company; in which case he would slink away unperceived, and trust to chance to supply his evening meal.

Once only did he have a respite. This was when Sister Sarah was marrying off her children. The matrimonial business of her neighbors not being of such vital importance, allowed her plenty of time to plan and make attacks upon Brother Dinly's peace.

She never wearied of her labors; and how much she did labor to find wives for her husband, none but the angels knew. Blondes and brunettes; shrinking, violet-eyed nymphs, and laughing, brown-eyed houris; sisters grown wise in experience, and innocent darlings; prayerful maidens, and mischief-loving sprites; good girls, naughty girls, smart girls, silly girls; little | | 208 and big, plump and slender, she had found and offered to her husband, as of old Sara offered Hagar to Abraham.

Suddenly Sister Sarah left off struggling with her husband. She let him go his own way. She grew silent. Brother Dinly rejoiced. Foolish Dinly; he had never studied human nature, or he would have quaked; for, in women and children, silence means mischief.

Sister Dinly, finding it impossible to marry off her husband, was meditating marrying herself to some one else, high up in the kingdom.

But there were several things to consider. She wished to be made joint queen with the first wife: the idea of being sixth or seventh did not suit her. Neither did she wish to relinquish her position, for Brother Dinly was well-to-do in the world, and the luxuries of this life are not to be despised.

A luminous idea gradually dawned upon her. One day she informed her husband that she wished to go to town visit her daughter. She could not have had a wish more delightful to Brother John, who did all he could to facilitate her departure. The only question he asked was, "How long she would be gone?"

"Two months; perhaps longer. I have a great deal of Church business to attend to, several friends to visit, and I shall be baptized for Queen Elizabeth and a few others. So you see I have a great deal to do. I am not a do-nothing like you."

With this parting thrust she left.

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