by Lora Nielson, Ephraim UT
From The Saga of the Sanpitch, 1969 historical writing Contest
It was a Sunday morning in the summer of 1875. Though it was still early in the morning, heat already crept on the little settlement of Ephraim. A neat little family, scrubbed glowing pink, emerged from a door of a small adobe home. An anxious mother herded her brook.
“Now son, don’t get your shirt dirty,” cautioned mother as a youngster bent over a curious kitten. “That goes for you, too, Bishop Dorius,” she called to her husband. He looked up from the weed he had just pulled and smiled at her.
Bishop Dorius dusted his large, capable hands on his homespun trousers, and then proudly led his family down the walk. He turned toward the old stone chapel where he met with his fellow worshipers every Sabbath morn. The good people of Ephraim gathered toward the church. Many an anxious mother fretted over her spouse and offspring. After only one block, would they still be clean?
The great, staunch figure of Henry Allen Beal led the flock. He was a mighty leader of the Church and town. He was a big man with a big voice, which he could, and quite often did, turn up to terrific volume. He was a favorite speaker at church meetings and never minced words in his sermons.
Mrs. Dorius shooed out her last little son and was just closing the white picket gate when she noticed a pair of boots dangling over the edge of the hammock in the garden. She cleared her throat and marched right over. Underneath a huge straw hat lay the hired man. She snatched the hat away and, with hands on hips, she tapped her foot in the dust. The shaggy-haired young man blinked in the sun, and grinned sheepishly, at Mrs. Dorius.
“Jens, are you not going to the meeting?” she demanded.
“No,” replied the young man calmly.
“Why for?” she inquired, becoming angry. She gripped his oversized ear. “Why for you lay here when you should be to Church?”
“Vel,” drawled the hired man in his heavy Danish accent. “I heard Henry Beal vill preach today an’ I ken hear him yust as good from here as if I vas to meeting.'”Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in