THE MAN WITH TWENTY WIVES.
A Mormon Romance.
[From the Trinidad (Colorado) Enterprise.] CHAPTER I.—THE MORMON'S DEPARTURE.
The morning on which Reginald Gloverson was to leave Great Salt Lake City, with a mule train, dawned beautiful.
Reginald Gloverson was a young and thrifty Mormon, with an interesting family of twenty young and handsome wives.
His unions had never been blessed with chil-dren. As often as once a year he used to go to Omaha, in Nebraska, with a mule train for goods; but although he had performed the rather perilous journey many times with entire safety, his heart was strangely sad on this par-ticular morning, and filled with gloomy fore-bodings.
The time for the departure had arrived—the high-spirited mules were at the door, impa-tiently champing their bits. The Mormon stood sadly among his weeping wives.
"Dearest ones," he said, "I am singularly sad at heart this, morning; but do not let this depress you. The journey is a perilous one, but—pshaw! I have always come back safely heretofore, and why should I fear? Besides I know that every night, as I lay down on the broad starlit prairie, your bright faces will come to me in my dreams and make my slumber sweet and gentle. You, Emily, with your mild blue eyes; and you, Henrietta, with your splen-did black hair; and you, Nelly, with your hair so brightly, beautiful, golden; and you, Mollie, with your cheeks so downy; and you, Betsy, with your—with your—that is to say, Susan, with your—and the other thirteen of you, each so good and beautiful, will come to me in sweet dreams, will you not, dearests?"
"Our own," they lovingly chimed, "we will!"
"And so, farewell!" cried Reginald. “Come to arms, my own!" that is, as many of you as can do it conveniently, for I must away."
He folded several of them to his throbbing breast, and drove sadly away.
Bat he had not gone far when the trace of the off-hind mule became unhitched. Dis-mounting, he essayed to adjust the trace; but, ere he had fairly commenced the task, the mule, a singularly-refractory animal, snorted wildly and kicked Reginald frightfully in the stomach. He arose with difficulty and tottered feebly toward his mother's house, which was near by, falling dead in the yard, with the re-mark, "Dear mother, I've come home to die!"
"So I see," she said; "where's the mules?"
Alas! Reginald Gloverson could give no an-swer.
In vain the heart-stricken mother threw her-self upon his inanimate form, crying, "Oh, my son, my son! only tell me where the mules are, and then you may play die if you want to."
In vain, in vain! Reginald had passed on.
CHAPTER II.—FUNERAL TRAPPINGS.
The mules were never found.
Reginald's heart-broken mother took the body home to her unfortunate son's widows. But before her arrival, she indiscreetly sent a boy to burst the news gently to the afflicted wives, which he did by informing them, in a hoarse whisper, that their "old man had gone in."
The wives felt very badly indeed.
"He was devoted to me," sobbed Emily.
"And to me," said Maria.
"Yes," said Emily, "he thought considerably of you, but not so much as he did of me."
"I say he did!"
"I say he didn't!"
"Don't look at me with your squint eyes!"
"Don't shake your red head at me!"
"Sisters," said the black-haired Henrietta, "cease this unseemly wrangling. I, as his first wife, shall strew flowers on his grave."
"No you won't," said Susan. "I, as his last wife, shall strew flowers on his grave. It's my business to strew."
"You shan't; so there!" said Henrietta.
"You bet I will," said Susan, with a tear-suffused cheek.
"Well, as for me," said the practical Betsy, "I ain't on the strew much, but I shall ride at the head of the funeral procession "
"Not if I have been introduced to myself, you wont," said the golden-haired Nelly; "that's my position. You bet your bonnet strings it is."
"Children," said Reginald's mother; "you must do some crying, you know, on the day of the funeral; and how many pocket handker-chiefs will it take to go round? Betsy, you and Nelly ought to make one do between you."
"I'll tear her eyes out if she perpetrates a sob on my hankercher," said Nelly.
"Dear daughters-in-law," said Reginald's mother, "how unseemly is this anger. Mules is five hundred dollars a span, and every identical mule my poor boy had has been gobbled up by the red man. I knew when my Reginald stag-gered into the doorway that he was on the die, but if I'd only thunk to ask him about them mules ere his gentle spirit took its flight, if would have been four thousand dollars in our pockets, and no mistake. Excuse these real tears, but you've never felt a parent's feelings."
"It's an oversight," sobbed Maria. "Do not blame us!"
CHAPTER III.—DUST TO DUST.
The funeral passed off in a very pleasant manner, nothing occurring to mar the har-mony of the occasion. By a happy thought of Reginalds mother, the wives walked to the grave twenty abreast, which rendered that part of the ceremony thoroughly impartial.
That night the twenty wives, with heavy hearts, sought their respective couches.
In another house, not many leagues from the house of mourning, a gray-haired woman was weeping passionately.
"He died," She cried, "he died without sig-nerfying, in any respect, where them mules went to!"
CHAPTER IV.— MARRIED AGAIN.
Two years elapsed between the third and fourth chapters. A manly Mormon, one even-ing, as the sun was preparing to set among a select assortment of gold and crimson clouds in the western horizon—although for that mat-ter the sun has a right to "set" where it wants to, and so, I may add, has a hen—a manly Mormon, I say, tapped gently at the door of the mansion of the late Reginald Gloverson.
"Madam," he softly said, addressing the twenty disconsolate widows, "I have seen part of you before, and although I've already twenty-five wives, whom I respect and tenderly care, for, I can truly say that I never felt love's holy thrill till I saw thee! Be mine! be mine!" he enthusiastically cried, "and we shall show the world a striking illustration of the beauty and truth of the noble lines, only a good deal more so—
"Twenty-one souls with a single thought,
Twenty-one hearts that beat as one."
They were united—they were.
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