Western Fiction posted November 26, 2012 Chapters:  ...5 6 -7- 8... 


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Sean tells his version of his life.

A chapter in the book AN ORPHAN NAMED JO

c2-p 3-Sean's Testimony

by c_lucas



Background
Sean has been thrown out of Dr. Foster's experimental class and has lost Judith in the process. He is carefully planning his revenge.

Note: For Caitlin fans: The next few chapters will be about her


Chapter Two
Part Three
The Chicago Stock Yards
June, 1877
 
End of the last chapter:
 
The priest turned toward Sean. “By special request from one of our donors, yeh will be sharing yer testimony with us. He’s interested in hearing it.”
 
“Tonight be for the sponsors. Yeh’ll be needing their donations, the movement be growing. If I can hep yer donations, I’ll be glad ta give my testimony. Which donor be th' one requesting it?”
 
“He and his sister want ta surpise yeh this evening. A fine strapping lad like yeh should be courting his sister.”
 
Sean paled, but quickly recovered. “Yeh be talking about Dr. Foster and his sister, Judith?”
 
“Aye, I trust yeh be acting surprised when they introduced and call yeh up ta join them.”
 
Sean glanced at Victor. “I know someone else who'll be surprised, too. It’ll be me pleasure ta tell about how Judith drove th' divil away from me tormented soul.”  
*****
 
As Sean and Victor entered the converted sanctuary, Sean turned toward the improvised collection box. He showed Victor two new Silver Dollars before dropping them into the slit in the lid.
 
“You’re awful generous for a lowly yard man.” Victor shook his head. 
 
“Aye, it be me weekly tithe, plus a generous gift from yeh.”  Sean guided Victor to the last row and they took their seats.
 
“Have you testified before at these meetings?”
 
“This be my third testimony. I be always blessing th’ Angel who be showing me th’ errors of me ways. Now, I’ll be introducing her in me own way.” Sean chuckled. “Yeh may be recognizing part of me testimony tonight. It be totally new than anything I be saying before. Don’t be acting surprised.”
 
“What will you be saying?”
 
“You’ll soon be hearing. Father Joseph be starting th' meeting. Dr. Foster and his sister be on th' podium behind him.”
 
Father Joseph knocked on the wooden pulpit with the knuckles of his right hand. The room full of Temperance members quieted down and bowed their heads. The priest opened the meeting with a prayer:
 
"Jesus, Yeh be showing us th’ ways of Temperance;
Yer Life proves ta be a Model for self-restraint.
Yeh never be over-indulging in th’ temporal,
Always setting th’ Example for each of our lives.
Our bodies being th’ Temple of th’ Lord,
We must be treating it with on-going respect,
and avoiding th’ evils Lucifer placed in our ways.
In Yer wisdom, Yeh be showing how self-abuse destroys our holy Temple be it alcohol, drugs, or anything taken in excess.
Lord Jesus, bestow fortitude upon all of us,
Help our souls ta control our bodies.
With Yer guiding strength, we be practicing the Virtue of Temperance.
Lord, Yeh be th’ source of our vigour.
Through You, All things are possible.
Amen."
 
A chorus of ‘amens’ followed the ending of the prayer.
 
The priest looked out over the large group. “Tonight be Donors’ Night. It be my pleasure ta introduce Dr. Mathew Foster and his lovely sister, Judith.” A round of applause followed as Father Joseph beckoned his two guests to join him.
 
Doctor Foster raised his hand to quiet the greeting. “It is on the behalf of my sister and I that I thank you for your warm welcome.” He held his hand out toward Judith who stepped closer to him.  “As some of you know my sister and I are treating the evils of Alcoholism using Dr. Leeley’s method. I would like to invite our first success from using this treatment, Mr. Sean Wiley … Would you join us, please?”
 
Sean, keeping a poker face, eased passed the sitting Victor, and walked toward the podium. He shook Dr. Foster’s hand, hugged and kissed Judith on the cheek, sliding his lips almost to her lips before breaking contact.
 
Judith, a bit red faced, tried to back out of his embrace.
 
He turned toward the audience, ignoring the doctor and keeping his arm lightly around Judith. “This be th' Angel who succeeded in wrestling me soul from th’ divil and freeing me from th’ chains of his evil elixir.” Sean held the red-faced woman’s hand high and kissed her on the lips before he released her.
 
He stepped back and addressed Judith, “I am so excited about being freed from Lucifer’s grip, forgive me if my act is disrespectful. Yeh’ll always be me angel.”  He kissed her hand, released it, and turned toward the applauding audience.
 
Once freed from Sean’s maniacal grip, Judith stepped to the other side of her brother.
 
“How does it feel to be released from Lucifer’s Alcoholic Chains? … IT BE WONDERFUL! For th' first time in years, I be me own man." He turned toward the now sitting couple. “Thank yeh for giving me back my life and self-respect.” Applause rose from the audience. “What type of life be I having before I met this Angelic couple? Well I be telling you.” Sean stopped and looked out over the audience.
 
“Me friends, I be a hardworking man, proud of me life and meself. Like most young men having a good job, I started looking for a wife. Woe unto me, I be finding her.” Laughter ruffled through the audience.
 
“We be married in th' Church, six months after I met her. As many of yeh be knowing, th' first six months of marriage be Heaven on earth. I be coming home to a loving wife and a good meal. It surprised me th' first time she be taking off me work boots and dirty socks. She be washing and drying me feet as th' Master did on that fateful night. She stayed by me side until I finished me meal, then she took my hand … The rest best be left unsaid.” Sean waited for the laughter to die down.
 
“Th' next six months, she be showing her true colors. I not be making enough money … she be needing better clothes … I be needing to help around th' apartment. … Does that be sounding familiar ta you?” Agreement sounded from different listeners.
 
“Forgive me, I be a weak man an turned ta th’ Divil’s brew. My Heaven be turning into a fiery Hell. Her father and two brothers sought me out, not ta discuss our problems. They be beating me and leaving me in the gutter, telling me to go home. Two weeks later, they be beating me with sticks and threw me into a outhouse.” Sean waited for the murmurs to die down.
 
“My friends, that not be th’ worse thing th' divil be letting happen to me. No matter how drunk, bruised and battered, I couldn’t forget th’ first night with me angel.” Sean slipped his handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped his eyes—earlier he had placed pieces of diced onions in its fold. He stuttered as if fighting back tears. “Me friends, I be deep in th' divil’s grip when I went home, determined I be setting things right. When I be opening th' locked door, she be having a stranger in her bed.  A young cailin asleep on the couch. I be finding out me wife be her mudder and he, the fader.” Sean bit his lower lip to keep from grinning at the out roar of anger. He covered his eyes and squeezed onion juice into them. “God, forgive me! The divil filled me heart with anger and I threw the naked man down the stairs, then I gathered and threw his clothes after him. Th’ girl awakened and ran after her fader.” Some of the audience cheered, others clapped.
 
“Th’ Divil’s whore ripped me heart apart, but she caused me ta do what I should have done, long ago. I be taking me belt and disciplining her like th' Good Book said. I be driving th' Divil out of her.” Tears flowed from Sean eyes, as he forced a smile on his face.
 
 “To be truthful, I not be remembering what be happening next. I do be remembering her father and brothers waiting for me when I be leaving the outhouse. They be beating me with rods of iron, kicking me so hard me ribs be broken. I be remembering them hitting me as they dragged me through the muddy streets to the train yard and throwing me in th’ cattle car.” Sean wiped his eyes again and waited for the outrage to die down.  It looked as if he was trying to smile with tears freely flowing.
 
 “I be waking up in the presence of an Angel offering me a glass of water. Th' Divil still be having a hold on me, and I be lying to her, giving a false name. A few nights later, I be betraying Dr. Foster by stealing a bottle of his special-treated wine. I be thanking God that th’ good doctor caught me and revealed me evil ways to Judith. He threw me out of his group and right into th' loving arms of Jesus.” Sean opened his mouth as if to say more, but he couldn’t. He wiped his eyes and turned toward Judith and her brother. “Thank you for your be showing me th’ way back to Salvation.” Sean turned and ran off the stage, pushing helpful spectators aside.  Victor, looking surprised and shocked, ran after him, pleading for him to stop.
 
Sean slowed when he reached the train yard and stopped completely when he came to the cattle cars and turned. “Well, me Victor, be yeh thinking they bought me tale?” He started laughing.
************
http://www.teachushistory.org/second-great-awakening-age-reform/articles/historical-note-temperance-reform-early-19th-century
A history of alcoholism in the 19th century 

http://addiction-dirkh.blogspot.com/2011/09/strange-and-secret-keeley-cure-for.html
Dr. Keeley’s methods

http://www.catholicdoors.com/prayers/english/p00538.htm
The Catholic Door Ministry Prayer for Temperance



Recognized


Image is the lower half of Dr. Keeley's advertisement at the turn of the century.

The Proglogue is a list of characters and chapters' URLs.

Abbreviated list of dialect:
Divil = Devil
Fader = Father
hep=help
ta=to
yeh=you
yer=your

Short list of character in the order of appearance:
Judith Foster - Nurse, aged and hight not mention. Temporary relationship with Sean. Sister to Dr. Foster.
Doctor Foster Follower of Dr. Keeley in treating Alcoholism as a disease. (see url) Brother to Judith.
Victor Harris- Orderly. Appeared in "A Rough Beginning." He and the Sullivans have a history.

Story Line:

This will be the story of Caitlin Anna Wiley. Her name will change to Jo Wiley when, as an orphan, she will be arrested for stealing an apple, valued at two cents.

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