The Words and Teachings of Reverend Stone
Sunday Jan 21 1877 – Today’s sermon was based on Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The congregation seemed to enjoy the message, the Deacons turned in a head count of 201 souls in attendance. James White of Milltown professed came forward with a profession of faith. We’ll wait until the river warms up in the spring for the formal baptisms, I’ll have to add him to the list. There was a special prayer for Mister Grayson while he was mostly healed a sickness still lingers within him from our last expedition.
I talked with the Deacons and their wives about cleaning up the church ground and making a nice path down to the river. That work was easily accomplished however the wives in particular wanted me to consider an expansion of the church grounds, and fellowship hall perhaps. I’ll need to pray on the matter, having a place to gather and cook would be welcomed. The flock seems eager for outreach, a blessing in itself, and it seems that they need to lead by example being the hands and feet of the good Lord. Setting up a soup kitchen or maybe even an orphanage may be what we are being lead to do.I sent out an order for more bibles there seems to be a shortage in town, and started looking to a chinese translation. If I’m going to make inroads to the folks down in rail town, I’d better pick up some chinese myself. Li-Jiao has been recommended for the task of tutor by Mrs. Blake.
Thursday Jan 25 1877 – Apparently spending a few days with the Lord in solitude becomes a rumor of illness. I must quote the good book, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” In addition Synopa seems to have gone out of town, I’ve not seen her since Tuesday evening. We’ve made a few rounds into mill town the earlier in the week, having an extra pair of eyes and a quick hands seems like a necessity on some nights. I’ve heard whispers about the company I choose, spending time with Synopa or the girls from the white dove. I’m not here to be socially correct, as the good book says “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” I still count myself among the lost, I’m still trying to balance the scales…
I asked the Lord for guidance in my prayers this morning and was overwhelmed with a vision. It began with me looking at folks around town, the more i looked the folks faces were overcast by a shadow, a dark shadow. At that moment I no longer know them. That is followed by a cavern, dripping with moisture. A single candle seems to light a pool blood on the ground, when suddenly the candle is blown out. “ My soul felt weak from the encounter and I rested until the afternoon. Synopa had not returned, and my concern began to grow. I struck out to Mill town, the poorest people there still live in shacks that a wickedly cold this time of year. I’m able to help with most of the general illnesses , some of these folks wouldn’t want to trouble the doctor, nor have the coin for anything that’s not got them knocking on death’s door. A good prayer and some decent food and some firewood will help most get through the winter.Friday Jan 26 1877-
I’m dead tired, but I feel it’s necessary to write some of this down tonight. I feel like my guts have been gored by an angry bull, but we saved a few souls today, perhaps more than just a few.
I awoke from some of my usual nightmares, my brother, wife, son, the riders, angels… best not to dwell on the past. Synopa had not returned, I went to seek out Mr. Myers in order to sort things out and to ask the Blakes if she had left any word about her where abouts. Interestingly enough 2 of Mr. Myers employees had also gone missing, a maid at the hotel name Daisy and a mine worker had not come out of the silver mine. We gathered Mrs. Blake and Mr Wesson and set off through town to look for the missing people. The new “hanging Judge” in town was the talk of the town and not in a good way. The Marsal seemed to be feeling some pressure for the recent murder in town. We visited Daisy’s home it was in the poorer sections of Mill Town, in a place I recognized from some of my rounds. She was not home and the place and occupants were in bad shape. We did a little christian charity and told the siblings that we would find Daisy. We returned to Mr Myer’s hotel and he gathered the staff.
After speaking with some of the hotel employees, it turns out that Daisy was seeing a young man by the name of Jonathan Brandy. After questioning this young man, we found that Daisy was with child. I spoke with Jonathan after Mr Myers had scared the information out of him, about making Daisy his wife and on that fathering a child is a responsibility that one could not and should not shy away from. I informed him that I can perform the ceremony free of charge as soon as we find Daisy and if she agrees to his proposal. I don’t recall how the topic came up but it was assumed or we were informed that Daisy having being a poor unmarried sort would try and seek to end her pregnancy early, and lessen the shame of a child out of wedlock. Mrs. Blake guided us through rail town and after searching for a while, we discovered these procedures are not as uncommon as one would think. We eventually found the poor girl on a small hut on the floor. She had taken a elixer to cleanse through her of the pregnancy but the effects had stalled. I don’t know if that’s divine intervention or not, the girl was in so much pain , I feared she would breathe her last on that floor. I prayed for Daisy, and for her child. To remove the poison from their systems, for the healing of their wound. I wanted to take the suffering from both of them, and through the Lord’s help I did just that. It hurt more than any punch I’d every received, I’d much rather be knocked around any saloon than to feel a pain like that again. My guts ached like I’d been kicked by an ornery mule, but after I finished my prayers the girl seemed to recover. We took daisy back to the hotel and called for the the doctor. One missing person found two more to go.
We moved Daisy’s mother and sisters into Mr. Myers home that night. With the nights being so cold, their mother incapacitated, and without Daisy’s help the children would have had a rough time of it.
Saturday Jan 27 1877
I set off early to gather some clothes for the children we moved last night. A knew couple of folks would have some hand-me-downs. I took the clothes by Mr. Myers before breakfast, Synopa had not returned. We didn’t waste to much time getting everyone together, getting to the silver mine was the first thing on everyone’s mind.
Mrs. Blake , Mr Wesson, Mr. Myers and myself rode out to the silver mine. We discovered that not one but two miners had gone into the mine and not returned. After a quick prayer, we descended into darkness. It’s hard to describe in words what came to pass in great detail, we found the first body with a knife wound in the back. We moved deep into the mine and found a second. I didnt notice Mr. Myers was not with the party until i heard the gunshots further behind us. He had shot a wild looking man, that seemed to be our murderer. Mr Wesson put two loads from his scatter gun into the man and he dropped to the stone floor. It was decided that this man could be responsible for more than just these murders and with the hanging judge in the back of our minds we decided to patch him up and take him back to town. That was a little easier said than done as his wounds were quite severe and i doubted he would make it out of that mine alive much less a short trip to town. I went to the lord in prayer to heal this sinners wounds so that he could be righteously judged. It hurt. I felt the pains of his wounds and almost faltered, but faith won the day and the bleeding stopped. We quickly dragged what was left of the two miners and the wild man out of the mine. The wild man survived the trip, and we left him with Doc Baker. I promised to check on him later that evening.
Synopa returned that evening, she had gone out to the plains and had a vision of trouble in the future. Something about blood moon, I believe. I’d have to revisit the situation because it was getting late and I believe that in my exhausted haze I said some things not quite as smoothly as my heart intended. I hope she was not offended, I’ll have to ask about it after services tomorrow.