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Part Three




 It was the last Sunday afternoon in September. Mellow, golden sunshine flooded Zion City's tree­-crowned hill.

Solemnly a long procession marched around the square of tawny grass which, more than five years before, had been consecrated to Zion Temple.

Proudly the erect, gray-bearded figure stood at the entrance of Shiloh Tabernacle and reviewed them as they entered.

In every direction from his place of vantage he looked upon the solid material into which these peo­ple, in obedience to him, had wrought the stuff of his dreams. He held title to every foot of land his eyes surveyed. Surely, on this second anniversary of the organization of Zion Restoration Host he might be forgiven a smile of quiet triumph at what he had accomplished in the twelve short years since, an itin­erant and all but penniless evangelist, he had built his Little Wooden Hut at the gates of the World's Fair.

The overseers passed gravely into the Tabernacle. With one last look upon the city, he turned and fol­lowed them. When at last he stepped upon the high platform there was a hush. He stood, robed in splen­dor, prophetic, apostolic, majestic. All eyes were upon him, all ears awaited his utterance. He knew his peo­ple. They had never failed him. Step by step he had



led them from acceptance of him as a simple, earnest preacher of the plain old-time religion, until to-day they looked upon him as one who came in fulfillment of a divine plan foretold by prophets, from Moses to Malachi, and even by Christ Himself. Which of his dreams for future triumphs could be impossible with such a people behind him?

His queer, rasping voice filled the Tabernacle, open­ing Zion's now elaborate and impressive ritual. This consummated, he began his sermon.

It was magnificent.

Even Herbert, disillusioned and heart-sick as he was, felt the man's power as he had again and again in the past.

His sermon ended, the First Apostle retired. A table for the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was pre­pared.

It was now late afternoon. In solemn stillness the worshipers waited, while dusk stole softly over them. Silently the First Apostle appeared in his white ”robes of expiation." His voice rose in the old familiar prayer, carrying his people back, in memory, to ear­lier, simpler days, days of miracles of healing, of self­less zeal, of bitter persecution. The same leader, the same voice, the same prayer! Irresistibly the same emotions rose, like a full tide, in their breasts. Hushed to a breath, yet because of their number a mystic volume of melody, hundreds of voices sang the old, old communion hymn:


'Tis midnight; and on Olive's brow

The star is dimmed that lately shone:



'Tis midnight; in the garden, now,

The suff'ring Saviour prays alone.

Slowly light drained away until thousands sat bowed in shadow. The preacher, seated as always at this sacrament, read from the Scriptures, blessed bread and wine, sent his robed deacons among them, led his choir in softly intoned hymns. It was Zion's holy hour. Dr. Dowie and his people were one again, around that sacred table.

The sacrament was all but finished. Only a few more words remained to be spoken.

Again the people waited.

Suddenly their leader shook his right hand as if some foul thing clung to it. He beat it upon the arm of his chair. Those near him saw him sway.

He turned, ghastly pale, to an attending deacon, who hurried to his side. Colonel Erdman came swiftly upon the platform. Between the two John Alexander Dowie was half led, half borne sway.

Never again was he to lift his voice in Shiloh Taber­nacle.

For a few moments following their leader's going the audience sat in puzzled silence. Then Overseer Darling appeared on the platform.

"The First Apostle," he said, “has suffered a very slight stroke of paralysis. He has already nearly recov­ered. We hope for his complete restoration in a short time. Pray for him, all of you, won't you?

"Rise and receive the benediction."

But the First Apostle was not completely restored.

He could walk, talk, eat, use his hands-awkwardly



and weakly-but he was not the same. Something within him had snapped-or something vital had gone out of him.

Before his illness Dr. Dowie had planned another visit to Mexico to look for land on which to build his Zion Paradise Plantations. On the appointed day, against protests from all his counselors, taking with him Overseer Darling, Colonel Erdman, Nancy Har­row, Harold Winans, and Deacon Richardus, he set out.

During the weeks he was absent he sent back, for publication in "Leaves of Healing," increasingly opti­mistic reports about his health, Zion's financial condi­tion, golden prospects in Mexico-and urgent de­mands for funds to enable him to take advantage of tremendous opportunities.

Herbert had just read one of the rosiest of these rhapsodies, when the postman brought him a letter from Nancy.

"Dear Herbert," she wrote, "you can thank your lucky stars that you were left at home. I don't know yet how long this nightmare is going to last, but if it doesn't end soon I'll be on hand to claim whatever re­ward in heaven I've earned by following your advice and being loyal to your ungrateful investors.

"Our patient is crosser than he was that first day at Madison Square Garden. 'Member? And we sit around interminably, having ‘family prayers'! But you don't know anything about what they're like! You heard a little fuzzy conversation about glorified polygamy. This stuff is worse than ‘Boccaccio'-and we're


drenched in it. I'm afraid I won't have a moral left if we don't get out of this soon.

"The F. A. has me send the loveliest lies about his health-and wealth-to the ‘Leaves.' (I hope you'll be around to tell the Recording Angel how you got me into this when I'm asked about it. I can't remember now just what excuse you told me to give.)

"Of course you're not deceived by these cheerful little romances. As a matter of fact, Dr. Dowie looks and acts like a very sick man, in both body and mind. It is amazing, though, how clever he is in some ways."






In Zion City cash was running lower and coupon payment of wages and salaries becoming a larger proportion of the whole. Zion City General Stores refused to accept these coupons, and they could no longer be deposited at par in Zion City Bank. They might be used to pay tithes and offerings to the Church, or held as unsecured notes, without interest, against Dr. Dowie. They were known throughout the city as "hot-air-money." Many people suffered priva­tions. There was much grumbling. Hundreds of fam­ilies who would have resigned and left the city were becoming desperate because everything they owned was frozen in real estate and Zion stocks and notes.

All this was rich fertilizer for fields cultivated by "reincarnated" prophets and apostles, "holiness" prac­titioners, nude cultists, and "gift of tongues" fanatics. Sexual perversion, even among ordained officers, be­gan to drag down its victims. And how these sectarians hated one another! "Doesn't it chill your blood, boss," asked Jesse Stoneham, "to hear a holiness deacon say ‘Peace to thee' to a gift of tongues elder in the exact tone and look of ‘God damn you'?"

Deacon Gaines, more and more strongly backed up by resident overseers and business leaders, was work­ing quietly to save Zion's estate. Expenses were pared, operations of every kind, except manufacture of goods



for sale, were suspended, and payment of so-called dividends out of capital was curtailed. All this must needs be done cautiously and with discrimination. There were still many Zion spies about.

The First Apostle and his party returned from Mexico on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. He was welcomed at the station, as usual, by Zion City Band, Zion Guard, and most of the population. But the sing­ing and cheering lacked their old time joyous, laugh­ing fervor. Many stood sullen and watchful.

As the train stopped, Colonel Erdman leaped from the steps of the private car and gave a low-voiced command to Major Frankbaugh. The Major's voice was heard in brief staccato and the Guard quickly lined up, two close ranks on each side of a passage­way from the car to Dr. Dowie's carriage. The First Apostle appeared, briefly waved his hand, was rushed across the platform, and shut in his carriage. Colonel Erdman mounted beside the coachman and away they went, swiftly, to Shiloh House.

It was smoothly done.

But the people had seen that pale, haggard face, those staring eyes above the great white beard!

The First Apostle, accompanied by Colonel Erd­man, planned to go to Jamaica to spend the winter. Remembering rebukes he had received from resident overseers, he would intrust none of them with the of­fice of Acting General Overseer. Instead, he cabled Overseer Voliva to come at once from Australia. He executed, signed, and sealed papers giving Overseer Voliva full power of attorney to buy, sell, bind, and loose.



Among others who called upon the old leader dur­ing these days 'was Major Frankbaugh, a faithful Zion Guard from days of the Little Wooden Hut. The major was also manager of Zion Bakery. A few years before, his wife had died and, since he was childless, he had been lonely. Now he had fallen in love with little pink and white Gladys Streidelbaum, stenog­rapher in his office. He asked the First Apostle's per­mission to marry her.

"No, no, no!" shouted the arbiter of destinies. "You are led into foolishness by your lust-not by love. You are able, well-to-do, and prominent in Zion. I will not have my leading men married to nobodies. Marry some one who will be a credit to you in your future high position in Zion."

Deacon-Major Frankbaugh was astonished, hurt, cruelly disappointed. But he was not hopeless.

Early in December Dr. Dowie and Colonel Erd­man departed quietly for Jamaica. On the train, as far as Chicago, rode Deacon-Major George W. Frank­baugh. Meekly, mildly, smilingly, but persistently, he labored with his colonel and through him with his great father in God for an interview. In the end he got it.

"Well, Major, what can I do for you?"

"You-you-First Apostle, please-you don't still misunderstand Gladys-Miss Streidelbaum-and not give us your permission to be married?" he stam­mered, too eager for coherence.

"No, Major," said the First Apostle kindly, hear­ing clearly only the words "permission to be married."



"And now please do not trouble me any further. I am very busy."

The major went back to Zion City with his head whirling in clouds of rose and blue and silver, went straight to Overseer Darling, told that officer he had apostolic consent, and that night was married to his Gladys, Overseer Darling performing the ceremony.

Fifteen days later a cablegram came to Overseer Goodheart.


Announce at once removal of Overseer Darling from office and membership for disobedience in Frankbaugh marriage.


                                     First Apostle     




The following Sunday afternoon at Shiloh Taber­nacle Overseer Darling was read out of the Church.

This was the last straw for many-and all the peo­ple said, "An outrage! Overseer Darling has gone through hell for Doctor Dowie!"

Nancy refused to publish the news of Overseer Darling's removal in "Leaves of Healing."

Three weeks later Colonel Erdman arrived unex­pectedly in Zion City, went from the train directly to Nancy's office, and handed her a sealed envelope. Opening it, she found a General Apostolic Letter solemnly telling of Overseer Darling's "sin" and con­sequent removal from office and from membership in the Church. With it was a letter to her saying that he was sending this apostolic letter by Colonel Erdman, who was making the journey from Jamaica and



return for no other purpose, and that he commanded her to publish it at once in "Leaves of Healing."

When she had read both documents she calmly tore them up and threw them into her waste-basket.

Smiling up into the colonel's grim face, she said:

"Now you can go back to Port Antonio and tell him what I've done."

"I'm glad you did, Nan," he said, sighing. "All the way here I have hoped and prayed you'd do that very thing. I've been in the service too long and I'm too close to him to defy him; but he's a very sick man. Do you know what he did? When he got to Kingston he wrote long cablegrams to President Roosevelt, King Edward, Kaiser William, the Czar of Russia, the King of Italy, and the President of France, command­ing them to get rid of their armies and navies. And he had me send 'em off, too.

"Well, I'll tell 'im nothin' except that I delivered the papers, as he told me to."

"How's his health, Colonel?"

"Seems to be gettin' some better. He's got a big buck nigger now to rub 'im and it seems to do 'im good."

"How's his mind?"

"Well, most of the time he's like his old self, but once in a while he's awful cross an' has some funny notions. But I gotta go--want to see some of the folks here-then back to Jamaica for me. I'm glad you doused that stuff I brought. Pray for me, Nan­-my job's not easy. G'by."