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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ELSIE'S smiles begun to fade; her reveries became sadder. Not that she was a girl to make for herself sorrow. She had suffered too much to do that; besides, nature had given to her a happy disposition; but now everything was going wrong.

Her friend and protectress was unhappy. Like all proud natures, Oreana avoided old friends lest they should perceive her woe. Perhaps she shrank more from Elsie knowing the questioning, doubting character of the young girl, whose last question, "Are his other wives happy?" still haunted her. How differently she would have answered now! Elsie felt deeply this avoidance on the part of her adopted mother. But that was not all: Elsie trembled for her lover.

Stanly had fallen under the ban of the Church by his non-compliance with the missionary call. The | | 267 devout ignored him, and those less fervent but prudent shook their heads and said it was foolish.

Elder Silvertung smiled blandly, while he remarked that some people would go to the dogs in spite of every effort to keep them all right.

"Just look, for instance, at the Delvilles. Did I not advise Brother Robert for his own good? And when I saw Stanly falling into bad company, I used all my influence to reform him, for there is nothing equal to a mission for elevating young men, and grounding them in the faith; but it was all of no use. However, I will yet try to do all I can to save them."

Elsie heard and trembled. That word--"save"--was very ambiguous.

Some years ago Mr. Delville outwitted the elder in a speculation, and courtship; and Silvertung possessed a good memory. He never forgot. Whether he forgave remains to be seen. Moreover, he was one of the co-operative ring; the Lord's enemies were therefore his. They must not cumber the earth.

He forbade Elsie to hold any communication with the Delvilles; but love knows no obstacle, and the young lovers continued to see each other in spite of the fiat. Their meetings were so different. Their lover-like talks about nothing were at an end. All was serious earnestness.

Stanly never had been a very light-hearted youth; the death of his mother, the murder of Julian (though he was far from suspecting the murderer), had darkened his youthful thoughts and dreams; and the late troubles made him a grave and determined man. He hated the Church organization more than Elsie did, and his vehement denunciations often caused the young | | 268 girl to shudder with fear that the trees might betray him.

One pleasant afternoon Elsie took a stroll by the creek, hoping that its song would cheer her.

As she walked up Main street she noticed a man roughly clad, but possessing an air of superiority, standing at the corner of South Temple street. For some time he had stood there, apparently watching the passers-by.

When Elsie came out of the Lion House his attention centered upon her. He followed her up Main street. Arrived at the north side of the Temple Block, the man, after looking to see that there were no observers, hurried after Elsie. Hearing the sound of footsteps, the young girl turned. She started, for there was something familiar, something that interested her, in this stranger who looked at her so wistfully. He came nearer. She recognized the mysterious Jim Tracy.

"My"--the stranger stopped suddenly, then said:

"Are you Elsie Lascelle."

His voice thrilled the young girl's soul, but astonishment rendered her incapable of action.

She faltered out: "Yes."

"Did you receive a package containing a ring from one Menly?"


"All right. Keep a good heart a little longer. It will all be right soon."

Just then some people came in sight; and the man turned away hastily.

Elsie, who had recovered her self-possession, ran after him.

| | 269

"Stop! Tell me who you are. Why you are interested in me. Tell me, who are you?"

"A friend. Ask me no more; it is not safe, and I cannot tell you yet. Soon you shall know all."

"It is strange, very strange; how I wish I might tell Stanly," thought the perplexed maiden.

Full of astonished curiosity, Elsie found herself at her home before she had an idea of being near it. Too bewildered to enter the house, she rested a few minutes at the gate. In those few minutes, the sufferings of her life crowded through her brain; and the long-cherished hope of escape returned with greater force. A few months and Stanly would free her. She looked towards the mountain barriers. Dark clouds of fog, rift upon rift, hid peak and base. Slowly the rifts broke from on high, a snow-crowned crest appeared, now gleaming golden, now blushing love's bright tint at the parting kiss of the sun's good-night. Slowly other peaks shone out of the black rolling fog waves. Far around spread the glorious light, tinging with opalescent hues the upper rifts, while beneath all was black fathomless fog.

"How glorious!" thought Elsie. "A vision of hope. Stanly and I will succeed, and be happy. The light will come."

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