them once. The motion attracted his notice. He
stopped and looked at them and then resumed his
" Innocent children! " he declaimed, in his preach
ing voice. " Not yet blighted with sin. Not yet. Ira,
do you feel your calling and election sure? You do,
don t you, Eunice? "
82 FOLKS BACK HOME
" Yeththir," she answered promptly.
" And don t you, Ira? Don t you, my son? "
The boy dug his toe into the faded carpet and re
plied doggedly: " I do if Eunice does," and stole a
look at her.
" Oh, yes, oh, yes," the preacher went on rhapsodi-
cally, " their angels do always behold the face of my
Father which is in Heaven. ... Of such is the
kingdom. . . . Unspotted from the world and yet
how soon to be exposed to its temptations and to
lose their primal innocence." He stopped and put his
hand on Ira s head. The boy moved his head as if a
little scared, and the hand slid down on the child s
neck at the corner of his jaw and then was snatched
away. The preacher had begun to say: " It was ac
counted unto Abraham for righteousness " When
he resumed his natural voice and said to them quite
gently: "You can run out and play." As he saw
them hesitate, he urged them: " Go on; go on. You
can play all you want to and have a nice time." They
darted out eagerly.
The mother opened a side door and whispered
to them: " I wouldn t make any noise if I was you.
It s Sunday, and people might think it was strange."
" We ll be real thtill, ma," lisped Eunice.
Ira waited till the door shut, and then continued
what he had been saying: "And you know they s
these here false-face things they put on and he could
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 83
easy get clothes like pa s and false hair and whiskers
" Where do you thpose our real pa ith, then? "
" I don t know. Mebby he s dead. Mebby this
other man toled him off summers and killed him and
got his clothes, and could talk like him and then got
the false face and put it on. I tell you, Eunice, next
time he hugs you you feel and see if you can t find
the string where the false face is tied on."
" O Ira, you. I m afraid."
" Huck-uh. He never hugs me. Say, I wonder if
he ain t lookin for the string to my false face. He s
always feelin at my neck."
Mrs. Bailey overheard part of their talk and
groaned aloud. " O my Lord! They ve noticed it!
What shall I tell them? " As she leaned over to poke
the frying steak with a fork she whispered: "Why
has this affliction come upon us? Was it because I
made an idol of him? "
At dinner Mr. Bailey made a long and wandering
prayer when he asked a blessing. He paused for, it
seemed, a minute and said " Amen! " quite suddenly.
Then he resumed his natural voice and began help
ing the plates. He took a sup of the thin coffee and
a bite of the soggy bread and sat staring at his plate.
" Mr. Bailey," said his wife, " you ort to eat more
dinner. You don t seem to have no appetite here
84 FOLKS BACK HOME
lately. You don t eat enough to keep a bird alive.
Take some of the meat."
He took up the carving knife, looked at it, felt
of the edge, and started up, flinging down the knife
and crying: " No, no! I can t make the sacrifice. I
love them too much; I love them too much!" He
ran upstairs, waving his hands over his head, and
Mrs. Bailey heard his study door slam. She and the
children ate on in terrified silence, and when they
had finished she sent them out to play in the back
yard. " Very softly now," she cautioned them. " It s
Sunday, you know, and folks might think strange."
After they had gone, she listened at the stairway
and heard him groan: " O my Father, if it be pos
sible, let this cup pass from me." This was some
thing new. She wondered what it was. It couldn t
be this about the Seventh Day, because he had
talked that all over with her and had overborne her
feeble resistance. It had been a great cross, but her
back was fitted to that burden now. It had called
for all the economy she was mistress of to provide
for the family and keep Ira and Eunice looking nice
for school on the small salary, and here lately the
congregation hadn t liked Mr. Bailey s preaching.
Of course now they would take it to the Presbytery
and Mr. Bailey would be put out, and what they
should do then she did not know. But that was not
what was worrying Mr. Bailey. He had told her the
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 85
Lord would provide for all their temporal wants, but
what was this that had come over him? She did not
know, but she feared for the worst. She would have
to wait, and she would have to keep it to herself.
Saturday morning all hearkened for the bell of
the Second Presbyterian. It was a little late, but it
sounded. Mr. Bailey rang it himself, and the town
applauded the spirit of Dicky Tomlinson, the sexton,
in rebelling against the preacher. It was well adver
tised that he had said he d be jiggered if he rung
that bell or opened the church. He was paid to do
that Sundays and Wednesday evenings. That was
the understanding when he took the job. Sunday
and Wednesday evenings he d open up and ring the
bell, and all, same as ever, but he d be jiggered if
he would on Saturdays. What did the Bible say?
Didn t it say: " Cursed be he that removeth his
neighbor s landmarks "? And when he had made all
his arrangements, and anybody, preacher or who,
come along and upset em, wasn t that just the same
as removing landmarks? Well, he guessed. He saw
himself ringing that bell on a Saturday; he just saw
himself. Charley Pope said that was the spirit of 76.
There were only a few of the regular congrega
tion out, some of the real old people that had no
other way to pass the time, and a few children. But
there was a full attendance of certain of whom all
the town thought when the Epistle of Jude was read:
86 FOLKS BACK HOME
" Clouds they are without water, carried about of
winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit,
twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves
of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wander
ing stars to whom is reserved the blackness of dark
ness forever." They were there, and they seemed
to Mrs. Bailey to be vultures gathering around the
There was Marinus Moran, who had gone a pil
grimage of all the churches in the Center, looking,
as he said, for one where there was " heartfelt " re
ligion, but in reality seeking a place where he could
lord it over everybody. He had been known to pray
fifteen minutes on a stretch, and a giggle went up
from the back seats at prayer meeting whenever his
trumpet-toned address began: " High! Holay! Al
mighty! Everlasting Ngon! " He was a terrible old
man, and all that decent people wanted buried out
of sight and forgotten, as it must be if this world is
to be lived in at all, he delighted to bring up, espe
cially in his long prayers.
Aunt Betty Mooney was there. She used to get
to shouting during the sermon, and from shouting
she went on to exhorting while the preacher had to
stand and look at her. They had a terrible time with
her at St. Paul s once when Brother Breen was
preaching. She started in, for he was a powerful man,
and stirred folks up considerably. He stood it as
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 87
long as he could, and then broke in with: Let
your women keep silence in the churches.
" I don t hold by everything that Paul said," she
answered him. " He owned up that sometimes he
spoke as a fool, and this was one o them times."
" Put her out! " said Brother Breen.
" I won t be put out ! " she screamed, and hung
onto the pew while the men tugged at her and
nearly tore the clothes off her back. They got her
out into the aisle and there she flung herself flat on
the floor, kicking her heels and squalling: " For so
persecuted they the prophets which were before
you. " Four of the stewards had to pick her up bod
ily and carry her out, locking the door after her,
which she pounded till she saw Constable Halloran
coming. Poor old Aunt Betty! She was the best
soul when there was sickness.
There was Zimri Hollabaugh, not so litigious as
these two, but none the less a disturbing element,
so that the sextons of all the churches had orders
to keep him out. For while he often behaved with
exemplary decorum, no one could tell when he
would get " the pay-wer " and display what he was
so proud of, the apostolic gift of tongues not under-
standed of the people. Right in the middle of the
minister s most impassioned period, he would jump
up and, clinging to the pew in front of him, would
close his eyes and sway back and forth, chanting: " O
88 FOLKS BACK HOME
yay! O yay! Losh-cum-aloshity wa-wa. Rascumtoo-
leroo, bullallop, bullallop! " never ceasing till he was
There was " Tepe " Armstrong, who proved things
out of the works of his illustrious namesake, Flavius
Josephus, and Alanson McKinnon, and a few more
of those who delighted in theological disputations
and whom the present rebellious attitude of the
Rev. Jeremiah Bailey attracted as a rubbed comb
attracts light bodies. These gathered around him
after service to congratulate him on his stand for
true Gospel religion. Mrs. Bailey s heart sank within
her as she saw him talking to them eagerly, taking
them at their own valuation.
Next day Dicky Tomlinson rang the bell as usual,
but Mr. Bailey did not appear. He had told the ses
sion he would not, and they got old Mr. MacFarlane,
the stated clerk of the Presbytery, to officiate. There
was a meeting of the congregation after the sermon
at which an overture was made to Presbytery to
constitute the court of Christ to try the Rev. Jere
miah Bailey for heresy, to sever the pastoral rela
tion heretofore existing between him and the Sec
ond Church, and to take such steps as might be
necessary to reunite with the First Church.
Then there came a day when the Baileys had to
move out of the parsonage and into a little house
up on Mad River Street, where on Saturdays the
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 89
little congregation of " Searchers," as these recal
citrants called themselves, met in the front room,
till they should need a larger edifice. The collections
had a weekly average of fifty-three cents. Once they
took in fifty-eight cents. On that the family of the
Rev. Jeremiah Bailey was supposed to exist.
But if that had been all that Mrs. Bailey had been
called upon to suffer, she would have borne her bur
den with a light heart. Mr. Bailey was sleeping very
little nights now. She could wake up at any time
and hear him groaning: " O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me! O my Father,
if it be possible, let this cup pass from me ! " and then
he would repeat long passages from Revelations. He
was preaching a series of sermons on the seven an
gels with the trumpets. Let her drop off to sleep,
wearied with her cares, when she might and wake
when she might, she would always hear that agon
ized plea, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this
cup pass from me! "
The explanation of his distress of soul came one
night when she awoke with a sudden chill on her
neck. It was the carving knife laid against her flesh.
" Lucy! " he whispered. " Lucy! the hour is come.
It is the Father s will. I dare resist no longer."
She gave a leap of animal terror and caught his
hand. "O Mr. Bailey!" she gasped, "what is it?"
" Be calm, be calm," he told her. " I have taken
9 o FOLKS BACK HOME
all the blankets and the comfort off the spare bed
and spread them out on the floor of the kitchen so
as not to spot the floor. It s so hard to get out of
woodwork. You take Eunice, and I ll take Ira. Be
careful and don t make any noise. Don t wake them.
Sh! then they will go right from their innocent
sleep to the glories of heaven where their angels
do always behold the face of the Father. They are
innocent as yet, but how soon, oh, how soon to be
contaminated by this world of sin!"
" Why, why, Mr. Bailey, what do you mean to
do? " she gasped.
" I ll cut their throats, real quiet, real quiet. I ve
got the knife so sharp, so-o sharp they ll feel no
pain at all. And the bedclothes will soak up all the
blood. Yes, that s the best way. I ve thought it all
out. Now don t you say a word. But, O Lucy! I
would fain this cup had passed from me. It is so
hard to make the sacrifice."
Fear clutched at her heart, not for herself but for
her children. With a heroism such as nerves heroes
on the battlefield, she stilled the tremor in her voice
and set herself to reason with him and coax the knife
away from him. It would be presumptuous sin in
them to interfere with the Almighty s plans. The
children s lives were in God s hands. He knew it
was a world of sin when He sent them into it, and
what were they to interfere and call Him to account
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 91
with, " Why do ye so? " Whom He did predestinate
them He also called; and whom He called them He
also justified; and whom He justified them He also
glorified, so that without human let or hindrance all
could work out to the greater honor and glory of
God. She urged him to consider the matter further
and do nothing without her. She talked with him
till he quieted down and said, " I guess you re right,
Lucy," and settled himself to sleep, but it was only
a little while and he was walking the floor again
and groaning: " O my Father, if it be possible, let
this cup pass from me!"
Day after day and especially night after night it
was her task to devise new arguments and new ex
cuses for delay. She had to be vigilant about the
carving knife and take care not to let him be alone
with the children for a moment, at the same time
keeping it from them and from every one else, too.
Why didn t she tell some one? Why didn t she
tell the doctor and have her husband put where he
could receive proper care and perhaps recover his
In those days in these days, insanity is less a
disease than a disgrace. The afflicted are no longer
regarded as possessed of devils, but they are tried
and convicted by the same machinery as a thief and
a murderer, and it was only the other day that we
ceased treating them more cruelly than any felon.
92 FOLKS BACK HOME
Fearful stories were told about the county house
where the lunatics were kept; how they were fed on
butchers scraps stewed up; how they beat the poor
things that didn t know any better. They used to
pound the ends of old Charity Newton s fingers so
that she couldn t pick up the pins she was forever
trying to swallow, and they broke in the roof of old
Mrs. Newsome s mouth with an iron spoon when she
wouldn t eat. Mrs. Bailey could not bear to think of
exposing her husband to the ridicule of the loafers
around the courthouse. She could not bear to think
of his being locked up with that silly boy of Makem-
som s that used to beg for tobacco by pointing to
his mouth and saying: " Ub-bub-bub-baa ! Ub-bub-
bub-baa! " If it had to come, it had to come, but till
then she would have to wait. If anything happened
to the children, why, why it would happen to her,
Some days he was just like his old self and Eunice
said to Ira: " Pa th come back. And thay, Ira. I felt,
and they wathn t nothtring like you thaid."
"Well, then, he s got the false face pasted on,"
maintained Ira. " It ain t pa at all."
" Oh, yeth, he ith, too," declared Eunice. " Look
how nithe he wath to-day."
" He was jist a-actin like pa, that s all. My real
pa, he never used to feel how big my neck was or
put his finger on that place where it beats right by
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 93
my jaw. Say, Eunice, did you know it beats there
jist like it does on your wrist? Well, it does. Now
you feel. Don t it? A-ah, what did I tell you? "
It was not so long to wait. Th6 sermons on the
angels with the trumpets were growing more and
more fantastic in their imagery. The Searchers
were amazed into silence. Only Brother Hollabaugh
preserved his gift, but exercised it in so subdued a
fashion that his low murmur, " O ya! O ya! Losh-
cum-a-loshity wa-wa ! " fitted itself to the high-
pitched oratory of Mr. Bailey as the drone of a bag
pipe fits the chanter.
It was the Monday before the Saturday when he
was to preach the last of the series on Revelations
x, 7: " But in the days of the voice of the seventh
angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of
God should be finished, as He hath declared to His
servants the prophets." Mrs. Bailey heard him de
claiming: " Maranatha! Maranatha! The Lord com-
eth! And shall He find faith in the earth? Shall He
find the Sabbath sanctified and remembered? Yes,
there is a remnant which hath not bowed the knee to
Baal " And then the front door slammed and still
ness followed. It was time for the children to come
home from school. Suppose he should meet them!
She wrung her hands out of the wash water, let down
her skirts which she had kilted up, threw her shawl
over her head, and started out to seek them. She
94 FOLKS BACK HOME
went clear down to the Union schoolhouse and saw
no signs of either parent or children. Miss Munsell
said Ira and Eunice had both gone home, but search
as she might she could not find them till she got to
her own gate, when she saw them coming from the
corner of Chillicothe Street.
" Why, where have you been? " she demanded.
" You most scared the life out of me."
" Oh, jist down by Patterson s," said Ira and
looked at his sister.
" What were you doing down by Patterson s?
That s not on the road home. Did you see anything
of your father? "
" You tell her, Euny," said the boy.
Eunice shook her head. For the first time, Mrs.
Bailey noticed that the child was crying.
" What s the matter, Eunice? Has anybody been
mean to you? "
The child shook her head again and catching hold
of her mother s frock began to cry hard.
" Tell me what s the matter, Ira."
" When we was comin home from school we seen
a who lot o people runnin into the alley back o
Patterson s, and they was laughin like everything,
and all the other children run there, and we run, too,
cause we wanted to see what they was laughin at.
And this here man that pretends he s our pa, he was
up on top the barn with a big, long tin horn in his
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 95
hand a-blowin on it and hollerin that he was the
seventh angel with the seventh trumpet, and every
body was makin fun of him."
" Yes," whispered Mrs. Bailey, " and then what? "
" And the constable, he had a ladder up ag in the
barn and was goin to climb up it when pa you
know, this man that pretends to be our pa he com
menced to flap his arms, makin out he was flyin ,
and jumped off. He lit on a pile o trash and stuff,
and the crowd all hollered: Here he is! and
the constable got around there and took him off
to the calaboose, and Mr. Horn, he said for God s
sakes for somebody to take them little young
" O Ira! You thwored! " reproved Eunice.
" I didn t, either. I was jist tellin ma what Mr.
Horn said. He said for you know sakes to take
them poor little young ones home, somebody, and
not to let em see their daddy drug off to jail, and
I told him he wasn t our real pa; that he was jist
somebody with a false face on that looked like our
real pa, and Mr. Horn said, O my Lord! ain t it
awful? and for us to run along home. And he ain t
our real pa, is he? "
They were in the house now. Mrs. Bailey sank into
a chair and threw her apron over her head, while she
rocked to and fro, shaken by the billows of her grief.
The children stood and looked at her while Ira per-
96 FOLKS BACK HOME
sisted in his query: " Is he, ma? Is he our real pa?
Ma, is he? O ma, is he? Tell me, is he? "
As always in life, the blow when it fell was less
terrible than the fear of it. Mrs. Bailey found that
she could draw a long breath once more. The chil
dren were safe at least, there were only the ordi
nary perils of being run over in the street or of
catching the scarlet fever or diphtheria. Then the
people were so kind, even the elders and the deacons
who had been so hard on Mr. Bailey when he was
tried by Presbytery, did everything they could for
her. When it was known how miserably poor she
and the children were they sent her groceries and
coal and warm clothes to make over for Ira and Eu
nice and would not take " no " for an answer. She
was a beautiful washer, too, and people from all over
town sent her things they wanted done up carefully,
and paid her well for it, so that, altogether, she made
out right well. The " Searchers " kept far aloof,
though. They had had a poor opinion of her from
the first, as being out of sympathy with her gifted
husband, and when it came out that he was insane,
they were too much mortified to have anything to
do with her. Even Aunt Betty Mooney tossed her
head and held her peace for once. Alanson McKin-
non was the only loyal one. He still kept the seventh
day, and whenever he came to town he always
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 97
brought her something, a bushel of potatoes or tur
nips or a barrel of apples. Hog-killing time he fetched
in some spareribs. It didn t do any good for her to
say that she had no claim on him and that she could
not take his presents. He was the " settest " man in
his ways in Logan County. He had made up his mind
that he ought to give her these things and that
Neither was Mr. Bailey s existence so terrible as
she had feared. Every two weeks she went out to
visit him at the county house and took him things
she thought he would like to eat. Otho Littell drove
out there with a load of supplies, and she rode on
the seat with him going and coming. Once Ira and
Eunice went with her, but only once. Whenever she
asked them after that if they didn t want to go and
see pa they whined, " No-o, no-o." Now that he had
his long hair cut close to his head with clippers and
his beard shaved off he looked less like their pa than
ever, and they would not go to him, though he
begged them to. He jumped up and began to walk
the floor of the long room, crying: " Unspotted from
the world as yet, but, oh, how soon, how soon to
be contaminated! Their angels do always behold the
face of my Father which is in heaven."
A big, thin negro slipped up to little Ira and mut
tered into his ear: " Boy, do you know who I am? "
" No, sir," whimpered Ira.
98 FOLKS BACK HOME
" Why, I m Jesus Christ. Didn t you know that?
Hell, yes. Been him for ever and ever so long. That
feller over there thinks he is too, but he s a fraud.
He s no good. Say. Want a million dollars? Do
" Go on away from there, Zeke," said Mr. Herkel-
rode, the poormaster. " Go on, now," and the
negro slunk away, grumbling to himself. The silly
boy twitched Eunice s apron and pointed to his
mouth, babbling: " Ub-bub-bub-baa ! Ub-bub-bub-
baa! " In one corner of the room a man walked up
and down with his hands pressed together in prayer,
repeating over and over again the same words, and
over and over again blessing himself: " O mairci-
ful God, I beg of you notta let this day pass with
out saving my soul. In the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Ghostamin. O mairci-
ful God! I beg of you notta let this day pass with
out saving my soul. In the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Ghostamin."
" I guess, if you don t mind, Miss Bailey," said
the troubled Mr. Littell in response to a motion of
the head and a grimace from Mr. Herkelrode, " I ll
take the children out to the wagon. You make out
your visit to Mr. Bailey. I ll wait for you."
Mrs. Bailey satisfied herself that her husband
had enough to eat and wear and a clean bed to
sleep in. She had his library sent out so that he
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET 99
might not lack for reading matter, but he pined for
" Woe is me, " he quoted, " that I sojourn in
Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar. My soul
hath long dwelt among them that are enemies to
peace. . . . Free among the dead, like the slain that
lie in the grave, whom Thou rememberest no more;
and they are cut off from Thy hand. Thou hast laid
me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. . . .
Thou hast put away mine acquaintances from me;
Thou hast made me an abomination unto them. I am
shut up, and I cannot come forth. . . . Aw, Lucy,
won t you take me out? Aw, Lucy! I think you
might. Please, Lucy, won t you? Aw, please? Why,
Lucy, the people here are crazy. Folks ll think I m
crazy if I stay here. You don t think I m crazy, do
you, Lucy? I have so much to do before the mystery
of God is finished. You know, I m the angel with
the seventh trumpet. You know that, don t you?
And say. They won t let me have a knife to cut my
nails with. Couldn t you get me a come closer