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muscle, singing and whistling by turns — full of a pleasant peace, ana always thinking of Zilpha. He bows now and then to an acquaintance, — once or twice speaks to an intimate one. Everybody likes him — everybody seems kind to him. AVhen was there a boy not yet twenty years old, who had made so many friends and no enemies? What a pleasant moonlight this is! There are no clouds over it here, in the summer sky, as there are at the East. He looks up at it and walks unconsciously — his feet on the earth — his heart in the heavens. What if Elder Salmudy should never come home? The sea is dangerous. But then, even if he does come home, the same power which sent him on a mission can take away from his horrible old bear-paws the one ewe-lamb that has been his — Hiram's very own from the beginning. That is one blessing! Brigham is good about divorces. What a sweet little home they can have by and by!
"Waiting for a partner!
He stops whistling again to twine the Wistaria and Madeira vine, the wild honey-suckle and the passion-flower about the porch of that sweet little home they shall have — when — when — and then, thinking when, he goes off into a reverie too sweetly transcendental to put into words.
The town's thickest streets are reached; he -observes for the first time how lonely it can be, — how dark and hidden in a secluded suburb, even under the full moon. Two furlongs off he can see the house where he must present his largest bill; its candles sending out through the panes two red streaks to struggle with the great silver flood, and finally get lost, utterly beaten out in the ocean dropping down from on high. Long shadows of barns, black as midnight for all the moon, — nay, by reason of the moon, whose contrast they are, — lie across the road; and the sandheaps along the fences, but half-lighted through the picket-slits and railgaps, are checkered with oblongs of swarthy penumbra. Though the moon is so bright above, she leaves spots below in which it is dark enough for murder to be done. There is an eddy of blackness behind that corner ranch, long ago deserted in the troublous "Johnston times," where a corpse might drift ashore out of the silver stream that washed the road-way, and though a procession passed all night long, not be seen till morning.
"Now you are married, you must obey " —
Scarce has he again begun to whistle the old memories back from under the acacia, when — " Phiu-u! phiu-u-u !— phiew!" there comes a 'triple whistle from another mouth, and of a sharper shrillness. Another, like it, answers it from out that black hollow, where all midnight and blackness seem hiding from the moon; then the lad hears a rush of feet, then a sack is thrown over his head, his mouth is stuffed with a wad of rage, and with pinioned arms he is dragged he knows not whither, as in a nightmare.
Brother and Sister Polypeith sit cosily chatting on their door-step until after the appointed hour. It is past eleven; neighbors have come in and joined them — gone home, and been succeeded by others who in their turn went home. The good old couple finally resolve to shut up the house. They are prepared for the alternative of Hiram's failure to return. He has probably, say they, spent the night at Brother Labyp, with Joe. So they enter the homestead and bar the door; sure that their boy will find it no hardship in such a summer night as this, to nestle down in the hay, if he does come back after all. For a little while, tender-hearted Ma Polypeith lies awake to hear her boy slam the gate; but that sound failing her, and her conscience troubling her naught, she presently gives over watching and sleeps the sleep of the just.
The next morning they take their lonely breakfast with regret; but certainly without alarm at Hiram's absence. There is no doubt about Papa Polypeith's debtors, and if Hiram has stayed to breakfast with the Labys, he will go right round to the shop with the checks in time for his father to meet the notes. So saying, Pa Polypeith lights his after-breakfast pipe and by the side of Ma Polypeith strolls down the front gravelwalk to the gate, intending to saunter leisurely down to his Alain street place of business.
His hand is on the latch-rod, when an old and coarse-looking ranch wagon stops in front of his house. A Mormon ranchman, who sits on a board in front, reins in his mules with one hand, and silently beckons with the other. Hay, wood, vegetables, an order for cabinet ware; these are the ideas that flash through Pa Polypeith's mind in an instant. But no I The contents of the wagon are too meagre for produce, and the. ranchman does not look like a saint well-to-do enough to want fresh furniture for his house The wagon-load is only about six feet by two and a, half, and it is covered with an old quilt. Pa Polypeith advances. "Well?" says he to the ranchman. That person simply points with the unoccupied hand over his shoulder. Then Pa Polypeith steps up on a spoke and turns down the quilt. The next moment he falls from the spoke and grasps the side-board with both hands. "What is it?" cries Ma Polypeith, curiously. She only sees his back; and yn- white horror, that makes his face suddenly unmeaning, has spread into his very heart and throat, making him so bloodless that he cannot answer. She aees that something strange is under the quilt. She runs out and lifts it for herself. She gives a bitter cry that might tear the heart of a hyena — a devil — anything but a theocracy ; and climbing into the cart, with a man's strength takes up to her breast her only boy.
Dead ! is he?
No 1 O God, no I Worse! For as the strength which was not quite bled
out of him while he lay in that eddy out of the moonlight just enables him to say, he has suffered the most fiendish wrong which Hell can invent — the wrong after which the leaving of life itself, is a demoniac refinement of wickedness. The theocracy has inflicted on him that vengeance which was inflicted on Abelard by the uncles of Eloise — has robbed him of manhood's self because he loved his rightful wife, even in the clutthes of a wretch who had four wives already!
Hiram lived — most horrible part of the story —he lived .' Two months pass by but he did not leave the house. Others who had suffered from the theocracy like him, went crawling like lepers along the shadyside of the Salt Lake streets, ashamed to meet their kind. But he would never know the scorn of men. The shock which his mind bad suffered had made him a confirmed idiot. The horrible truth was slow in coming to the ears of the only woman he had ever loved in his life But it did come, and the next morning she was found quite beyond the reach of the sour-faced "sister " who had done her duty to the Church, beyond Elder Salmudy, beyond the bishop, beyond the theocracy itself, with an empty laudanum bottle by her side, and her soul under trees more unfading than the acacias; all of which was delicately referred to in a paragraph in the " Deseret News," headed " Terrible affliction of an absent missionary, — Brother Salmudy."
Mr. Polypeith was by no means a young man when he came to Utah, and this crowning trouble of his life aged him to such a degree that the" most intimate of his Eastern friends would not have known him. (Here the reader, who from motives of delicacy has objected to knowing the worst of Mormonism, may remount the car of my narrative.) The country which he had fondly hoped to make his Paradise, had become his Inferno. He could not endure the sight of a face that he had known ia Utah. The people he met on the street seemed to stare at him sidelong, with cold curiosity, or humbling pity. He had no heart for his work — he missed the deft hand, the cheery whistle, the sunny face that used to be beside him. He should never, never, never have any child to succeed him in his business now. Everything he now did, was only for two broken old people, who would soon be in their graves. Why should he work to keep up a business which could be left to no one? Neither he nor Mother Polypeith had any interest in themselves. All that thejB wanted was the chance to scrape together enough of their property to leave a comfortable trust fund for the support of their poor wrecked boy when they should be gone; and to get into some quiet place where none of them should be known; where, without notice, they might nurse and tend him while they lived, and, seeing him provided for, lay their tired bones in the earth.
So Mr. Polypeith sold his warehouse, stock, good-will, tools and all, and began making ready to go to California. There he might purchase tome quiet little ranch, along the upper waters of the Merced or the Sacramento, and lead the secluded life of a vaquero. He knew nothing of agriculture, — he was too old to learn; but comparatively little training was necessary for the pastoral life, and the three of them could live on the proceeds of the yearly cattle sales, which was all that he now aimed at or cared for.
Of course he could not make this resolution known. He distrusted his very daughters. They had become so identified in all their interests with the theocracy, and that vast power so entirely swallowed up all private relations, obliterated all personal and family ties, that he was not sure, poor old man, that even these children of his own loins — these sisters of a worse than murdered brother — would be faithful to his secret. They might not be able to, even if they would; their husband was high in the Church; one of those whose duty it is to know everything, and he probably possessed means of marital pressure which conld extort the truth from the two girls, like a Spanish torture-boot or thumbscrew. So it would be not only wiser for the three who were going, but more mercifiil to those left behind, if he kept the fact of his intended flight a profound secret even from them; so they might honestly say they had no knowledge of it, and be spared a great deal of trouble.
Nothing of his property now remained unconverted into the portable shape, except the house he lived in. 'After much casting about for a way to turn this into money without exposing himself to the suspicion of meditating an exodus (and he needed every cent he could raise for the accomplishment of his purposes), he finally hit upon a wav by which, as he congratulated himself, he could secure the double end of saving all he owned, and, at the same time, lull any suspicions which might have been aroused in the omniscient mind of the theocracy, by the somewhat hasty and unexpected sale of his business. A rich neighbor, Elder Steatite, had repeatedly solicited him to sell his house, and still retained his fancy for it, keeping open the original very liberal offer he had made for it; and signifying his readiness to close on cash terms whenever Mr. Polypeith should change his mind. To Brother Steatite, Brother Polypeith now repaired, and told him that as he had sold out his business, finding it too much care for his growing years, he wanted to purchase a ranch, already stocked, in the Tuilla Valley, where he might settle down comfortably as an agriculturist for the remainder of his life. For this, he needed money, and if Brother Steatite would lend him something less than the sum he had offered to buy the house outright, he would give him a mortgage on the latter property to be exchanged for a deed in case he found anything in Tuilla to suit him. Brother Steatite was pleased with this opportunity of getting at least a contingent hold on the property, and loaned him what was a pretty fair price for it.
It was agreed in the secret consultations of the sorrowful old couple, that they should move such portions of their household goods as they found desirable, to take with them, by slow degrees, to a " cache," or hidden place of deposit, among the sage brush and rocks, a few rods off the emigrant road that led by the way of Black Rock; and whenever a trusty teamster could be found in the trains that weekly, in some seasons almost daily. camped outside the city, he should be let into the secret of the cache, and hired to stop and take up the articles hidden there; and then carry them on with him, and leave them in store at one of the Humboldt settlements, to be called for by the Polypeiths as they went through. Accordingly, one by one they moved the few things which they could, without attracting attention to their absence, Mr. Polypeith depositing one lot in the cache each time that he went on his pretended prospecting tour to Tuilla. Finally, having removed all ithey dared, they made ready to go themselves. They had, fortunately, bought a team of mules and a large wagon for lumbering purposes, two years before, when an unusual run of good luck had given them the means and awakened in them the ambition to extend their business, — so the purchase of that essential requisite was not now to add another to the chances of having their flight suspected.
They stocked their wagon with provisions for two months; taking the most condensed form of everything which they could get: such as canned meats, fruit and vegetables, prepared milk and coffee, Shaker apple-sauce, hard-tack, and soup-biscuit. Though the expense of their outfit was considerably greater than if they had taken the ordinary salt pork and beef, they were able thus to provide for a much longer journey; and insured themselves against the disaster of running short on the terrible tract which they must cross between Salt Lake and the fertile country about Lassen's.
They came to their last Sunday in Salt Lake. At first, it seemed as if they could not bring themselves to go to the Tabernacle, for they should see the girls there; and how could .they look in those faces which had nestled against her bosom, and his bearded cheek, in the perfect trust of babyhood — how could they clasp those hands which had tenderly stroked their hair; and hear the voices which had cooed up at them out of the cradle — knowing that it was for the last time, yet not disclosing it to them, in cries of heart-rending agony? But they must do it, somehow. The care of poor Hiram had kept them at home a good deal on recent Sundays; and the theocracy of Mormonism, like that of the Jews and the old Puritans, lays a severe penalty on absentees from service. Mr. Polypeith had once before, when his wife and children were ill for six weeks with typhoid fever, been put on the list of suspects, and possibly disloyal persons, who were to be dragooned with the sharp end of the Episcopal crook into worshipping God, and to be roundly fined for their past delinquencies. They could ill afford now to incur suspicion or expense; so Mrs. Polypeith went to have her heart lacerated in the morning, and Mr. Polypeith in the evening.
The principal morning sermon was delivered by the Prophet himself, and had for its subject, the Church's absolute proprietorship in all that