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 XXXVI.
COUNTER-PLOTS.

THE message Elder Silvertung received, so opportunely for the lovers, called him to a priestly council. The Presidency had been absent on an extended tour, and great was their dismay to find, upon their return, the heretofore submissive people in great agitation. The apostates seemed bolder, stronger than ever, they flourished under curse and anathema. They even presumed to build a hall, where they could talk openly to the people of the delusions of the Church, and the iniquities of the priesthood.

The despot raged. He, who had passed triumphantly through so many crises, he who had brought people across an unknown desert, the founder of cities, the successful fighter of public opinion, whose cunning policy had brought the government to terms, made friends and admirers of those sent to conquer him, turned a military camp into a harmless, picturesque accessory to the scenery of Zion, and changed Gentile rule into a pleasing farce, he, the Napoleonic Moses, the future master of the world, to be defeated, defied, by a few men, his former slaves,--it was intolerable. He thought of those days, now gone for ever, when, by lifting a finger, he could have crushed all. He groaned i spirit, while his council gave utterance to their griefs.

"The people begin to hold opinions."

"They call us murderers!"

"And the Co-operative Institution a swindle, its managers thieves!"

| | COUNTER-PLOTS.

"The women become rebellious."

"Congress threatens to crush polygamy."

"It is no use, brethren, to believe all we hear," said Silvertung, "they say that Delville has been talking of late, that he knows who killed B. and S. and--"

"Has that worm dared to turn?" roared the chief.

"He not only turns like a worm, but he tries to play the viper and sting. His son Stanly is trying to seduce my ward; he is another viper."

"And have ye all grown so faint-hearted that ye let these vipers sting? Have the people I have brought to Zion gone back to their idols? Have the Danites forgotten their oath?"

"No, no, we have not forgotten," cried several impatient ones.

"What does Job say, my friends? 'If they obey not, then they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge!' Ponder upon these words. They are our comfort in these evil days. For the Lord has not yet forgotten us. We shall yet triumph. I know it, I feel it, and my soul sings with the psalmist: 'But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.' And again: 'Let the posterity of the wicked be out off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.'"

"Amen, amen," responded the concave. Having relieved themselves in these bitter prayers, which seemed to give great delight to Silvertung and a few others, the council commenced the discussion of business. The chief gave his orders as calmly as if anger had never troubled his mind.

When the business was over, he said: "I wish to speak with you concerning an inspiration I have just | | 312 had; You say the women are becoming rebellious. Now there is more danger in that than in the schism. We must coat their pills with sugar.

"Suppose we give them the Ballot? You know how women are fighting for this privilege. If we give our women the Ballot they will feel themselves above all other women in the world. They will be so dazzled by it that they won't be able to see anything else. Moreover, we shall increase our political strength. Suppose we do lose a few hundred by this schism. We can make good that loss by thousands of women."

"But suppose they go contrary to us?"

"Contrary?" cried Silvertung, "as if their husbands couldn't see to that."

"Brother President, it is a grand idea."

"It is, indeed," cried all.

"I thought you would join with me, my friends. As for women going contrary, you know they can't enter heaven unless they obey their husbands. But nothing must be done in a hurry. The Ballot must be given as though it were a great concession, due only to good, faithful daughters of the Church. Think of it, my friends, hint at it. We will conquer yet."

"Amen," responded the company. They bowed to the chief and retired. Elder Silvertung, Brother Smith, and two other worthies, stopped under the locust trees and led a parley, in which the words "to-night" were oft repeated. Whatever it was they planned for "tonight," gave them great pleasure, judging by the smiling faces when they separated. As Elder Silvertung walked down South Temple street he saw Mr. Delville and Stanly leaning against a high fence, deeply absorbed in earnest conversation.

| | COUNTER-PLOTS.

By slipping in at the open gate the elder was enabled to reach unseen and unheard a point near where they stood; and from whence he could distinctly hear all they said. The conversation was to him exceedingly interesting.

"It is all arranged, you leave about 10 to-morrow morning. I go to-night: my horse is ready. I shall take the track. It is a rougher road, but I think it safer. Everything shall be ready for you and Elsie. Good-bye."

"Good-bye, Stanly; but in case anything should be wrong, I would rather see you again to-night. Nothing must be overlooked in such a desperate enterprise."

"All right, then. I'11 meet you here at 8 o'clock."

The twain separated. Elder Silvertung thought himself well rewarded for his pains. "So, so! Miss Elsie, you intend to give me the slip. We shall see, we shall see." Instead of going directly home, the Elder turned down Main street and followed Brother Smith to his lodgings. The two worthies had another confidential chat. Then elder hurried home, looking serenely satisfied.

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