Introduction: The Reverend

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Introduction: The Reverend

Post  Rev. deBenneville on Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:20 pm

It was a small farmstead in an isolated valley. The land wasn’t bountiful, but arable enough to eke out a living. A small cornfield, a vegetable garden, a chicken coup, and a wooden shack occupied the flattest land in the valley. The shack had only small windows for lighting but possessed a fine front porch with an awning covering a set of chairs. deBenneville counted six: three adults, two children, and one teenager. Maybe these folks followed the path of righteousness. “Still, ‘…if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of the righteous exceed...’” The Reverend straightened his coat and started down into the valley.

As Matthau watched the man in the duster approach his farm, he told his eldest to fetch the rifle. He then wiped the sweat from his tanned brow, sending his dirty blond hair into further disarray. The man appeared unarmed, but safety was often an issue for Saints this far from Deseret. Matthau called out “Hello sir! Is there something I could help ya with?” The stranger shuffled to a halt about ten yards away from the farmhouse.

“Sir, I have travelled far and wide across this land, spreading the word of God. I ask for succor and perhaps a chance to speak with you and yours on matters of eternal salvation.” intoned the Reverend in a raspy croak. Seeing the farmer shift uncomfortably, deBenneville began to wonder if this man had lost his faith or adopted a heretical creed. “Sir I ask only for water, food, and the chance to speak. I wish no evil upon your family.” The farmer finally relented, inviting the wanderer over for a brief rest. “Come sit with me and Bonnie will get us some refreshments”

Matthau had decided it was best to see the wanderer on his way quickly. He sat down with the stranger on the porch while his first wife fetched bread and water. His wives adopted the pattern they had previously worked out for Gentile visitors. The women were to remain silent, and his second wife would pretend to be his wife’s sister. Not a word passed between the farmer and his unwanted guest, as the Reverend wolfed down the bread and drank deep. It had been a long while since his last meal.
When he finished his humble repast, deBenneville inquired “Does your family have any alcohol about? Whiskey perhaps?”
“We keep a dry household, so I cannot accommodate you in that regard. Beg pardon.”

“No apologies necessary. I disapprove of hard liquor anyway. Deteriorates the moral fiber of many good young men.”

“Then why did you…were you testing me?”

“Testing what now? You have a fine family Matthau. I assume the charming woman who brought me food is your wife, and the three children are yours?”

“They are my greatest joy. And my wife’s sister is here as well. This is Sarah.”

“Pleasure to meet you ma’am.”

Before Sarah could speak, the youngest of Mathau’s children spoke up. “Mama, when will supper be ready?” Sarah hushed the child and glanced nervously at the Reverend.

With this the Reverend whipped his head to stare at the child. “You say this is your youngest spawn. Yet he addresses your ‘sister-in-law’ as his mother? You are nothing but a base polygamist! An adulterer! The Word says ‘if the marriage bed is defiled, God will judge the whoremongers and adulterers’. Are you a Mormon heretic?”

“We call ourselves Latter Day Saints, but yes. Now please leave my home.” With this the Reverend sprung from his chair. The farm’s only rifle lay against the wall beside the farmer. Matthau was able to grab the barrel and swung the stock at his crazed attacker. The Reverend was driven back and caught the third swing on the cheek. He fell off the porch and into a nearby pile of refuse, bleeding and dazed. Grasping to gain purchase with which to attack again, the Reverend’s hand closed around a jawbone. “Not an ass. Ox. Thicker, more heft. Will I make an ox of him?”

Matthau approached the fallen man, rifle ready. When he was within a few paces, the Reverend leapt at him with surprising speed. deBenneville pushed the rifle between their chests with his left hand as he brought the jawbone around with his right. The farmer ‘s lip was cut by the dead ox’s teeth, and his jaw was dislocated. Matthau staggered backwards, letting go of the rifle. The Reverend let the rifle drop to the ground, then brought the jawbone down on the farmer’s right shoulder. The bone broke, leaving two teeth buried above the clavicle. The reeling Mormon was then subjected to a series of wild haymakers, which knocked him to the ground. deBenneville beat the helpless man for a few seconds more, then paused.

“Repent your sinful lifestyle and embrace the true path of righteousness! Reject the Devil and his temptations and you will be saved. Do you repent?” cried the triumphant deBenneville.

“Yes please…spare my family…I…I repent my sin!” It was barely louder than a whisper, but it was what the Reverend needed. He bent down and began to chant, crying for God’s mercy against the devils inhabiting the weak man before him. Matthau was filled with pain unlike anything he had experienced before, and fell into unconsciousness.

When Matthau woke hours later, he was amazed to find his wounds mostly healed. A few minor cuts and bruises remained, but he would survive. The strange preacher had long since departed, heading for New Mexico.

Last edited by Rev. deBenneville on Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:04 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : new draft)

Rev. deBenneville

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