Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Christ Comes To Texas
by [?]

AND CALLS ON THE ICONOCLAST.

The editor was reading a report of the regular meeting of the Dallas Pastors’ Association, at which the Second Coming of Christ was learnedly considered. Dr. Seasholes declared that all good people will rise into the air, like so many larks, to meet the Lord and conduct him to earth–with flying banners and a brass-band, I suppose– where he will reign a thousand years. At the conclusion of this felicitous period Satan is to be loosed for a little season, and after he has pawed up the gravel with his long toe-nails and given us a preliminary touch of Purgatory, we are to have the genuine pyrotechnics. Some of the divines did not agree with the spectacular ceremonies arranged by Dr. Seasholes for the Second Coming; but he seems determined to carry out his program or enjoin the procession. The editor was musing on this remarkable controversy and wondering, in a vague, tired way, why the fool-killer did not take a pot-shot at the Dallas Pastors’ Association, when there came a gentle rap at his door and a strange figure stood before him. It was that of a man of perhaps three-and-thirty years, barefoot, bareheaded and clothed in a single garment, much worn and sadly soiled.

“Peace to this house,” he said, in a voice soft and sweet as that of a well-bred woman. “A cup of cold water, I pray you.” “Water? Cert. Steer yourself against the cooler over there. You look above the Weary Willie business. Sit down until I find a jumping-off place in this article on ‘The Monetary Situation,’ and perhaps I can fish up a stray quarter that’s dodged the foreign mission fund.” He bowed his thanks and sank wearily into the proffered seat. In five minutes he was sleeping softly, and the editor made a careful study of his face. It was of the Jewish type, strong but tender. The beard was glistening black and had evidently never been to the barber’s, while a shock of unkempt hair, burned by the sun, hung around his shoulders like the mane of a lion.

“Hello,” said the business manager, as he helped himself to the editor’s plug tobacco; “another of your Bohemian friends? Some fellow who’s tramping around the world on a wager of ‘steen million dollars? Good face, but a bath wouldn’t hurt him.” The stranger roused himself and the B. M. continued: “Neighbor, we were just about to crack a bottle of beer. Have you any conscientious scruples about joining us?” He winked at the bookkeeper, and the stranger bowed his thanks, accepted the amber fluid, scrutinized it curiously and drank it off with evident relish.

“That is very refreshing,” he commented as he wiped the foam from his black beard with his sleeve. “Will it intoxicate?”

He was informed that if taken on the allopathic plan it would make one drunk some, but not the wild-eyed, murderons mania peculiar to Prohibition booze. He declined a second glass, saying gently, “We should not abuse the good things of life.” The bookkeeper was so startled that he missed his face with a pint cup, and the mailing clerk did up a package of hymn books for a dealer who wanted “Potiphar’s Wife.” But the stranger was evidently unconscious that he had forever queered himself with the Bohemian Club. He took a dry crust from a leathern wallet, and, blessing it, offered a portion to the editor.

“Jesus Christ! You don’t eat that, do you?”

The visitor rose, a startled look on his face.

“You know me, then? Yes, it is I–Jesus of Nazareth. I have walked the earth an entire year, clad as I was eighteen centuries ago, living as I did then, mingling with those called by my name, conversing with those who profess to teach my doctrine, and none knew me. Nay more: They sometimes spurned me from their doors, and even delivered me to the minions of Caesar as a vagabond. You look incredulous. Behold the nail-prints in my hands and feet, the spear wound in my side, the scars made by the crown of thorns upon my brow.”