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 LI.
ELSIE'S GOOD FORTUNE.

THE death of Silvertung caused a great deal of excitement among the leaders. The Lion of the Latter Days felt shocked and really grieved at the sudden cutting off of his zealous apostle. It augured ill for the future. There came to him echoes of whispers uttered by some of his people to the effect that Silvertung had reaped his just reward. Ah! the slaves were becoming brave; the schism was doing its work; it was undermining the despot's power. The scepter he longed to wield seemed to be vanishing phantom-like from his grasp. He ordered his apostles to preach revenge. The Tabernacle and the meeting-houses rang with denunciations upon the iniquitous Gentiles who shed the blood of the Saints. Hymns breathing vengeance were sung, but the people listened apathetically. Perhaps the continued postponement of the day when the Saints should rule over the world had dampened their ardor. They thought it had come when the great Prophet proposed himself as candidate for the presidency. They were sure it had come when civil war desolated the land. But peace came, and the day of triumph seemed as far off as ever. At every rumor of trouble or of war hope revived, only to be disappointed. Therefore it was not surprising that many had given it up, and that | | 371 incendiary speeches failed to make a blaze. Other interests occupied them. Mines fascinated the men, the hope of the ballot absorbed the women, and the railroad had exciting interest for all. So Silvertung and vengeance were forgotten.

When the Silvertung estate was settled, the wives found themselves a little better off than they had ever been. Number three took possession of the house intended for Mary Lascelle, and, not having any living children, asked to take care of the three left by her sister wife. Elsie gladly consented, for a time only; for the girl was determined to earn an independence.

Mrs. Lucy wished to have her, but Elsie refused with thanks. Through Brother Menly's instrumentality she obtained a position as governess in the family of one of the apostates. This step drew upon her the hatred of her old acquaintances. In fact, the Saints had looked askant at Elsie ever since the elder's death; for it was rumored that it was Elsie's father who fired the fatal shot. But Elsie was indifferent to their praise or condemnation. Her heart throbbed with the purpose born in the inspiration of death. "To shed light wheresoe'er she trod," was her motto.

For the first time she felt the holy influences of a refined home, where father and mother are one in heart and purpose;--a home where education was prized, and progress cherished. Every day Elsie's mind welcomed some glorious truth. Every day she ascended a step of the ladder that leads to the mountain-top from which the universe may be seen. Her spare moments were devoted to her mother's young family. Mrs. Silvertung No. 3 was a superior woman, who gladly opened her eyes to the light that Elsie | | 372 brought; and soon the young reformer reveled in the satisfaction of bringing one deluded soul out of the darkness. This conversion, or rather spiritual evolution to a higher life, gave Elsie quadruple delight, for it assured to the three children left to her care an emancipation from the slavery of Mormonism.

One morning Elsie was summoned from her school-room, to hear that she was the sole possessor of $20,000, under the guardianship of two prominent Gentiles, whose position would assure her protection, in case any zealous Saint should try to get her money. When her astonishment was somewhat abated, one of her guardians placed in her hands two letters; one was from Stanly, relating his marvelous escape, which he shall tell in the next chapter, the other was addressed to Miss Elsie Lascelle, from her father, Edward Lascelle, alias Jim Tracy. Elsie retired to her room, and in fear and trembling broke the seal. It was a long epistle, and Elsie wept much while reading it; but the confidences of father and daughter are sacred. We must content ourselves that the letter informed Elsie that the $20,000 were lawfully obtained, therefore she could accept the money without scruple. It forgave her mother, and ended with a blessing upon her union with Stanly Delville.

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