The Death Of The Prophet


“He’s leaped the window,” came a voice from the jail, and the men who had been upstairs raced down to the yard. One of them bent over him. At the words, “He’s dead,” the black-faced murderers cheered lustily. Then there was silence. Already a number of them were running away. Someone said, “The Mormons are coming,” and there was a scramble to run out of sight into the woods from which they had begun their attack.

Willard Richards, who had been behind the door when it was forced open and had not been noticed by the mob, started for the cells on the other side of the second floor. “Take me,” said John Taylor, and Richards lifted his desperately wounded friend and bore him to a cell where he laid him on the floor and covered him with a straw mattress that had burst its seams.

A few of the bolder members of the mob raced up the stairs once more and stood for a moment looking at the corpse of Hyrum. They did not look in the cells, but ran down to catch up with their fleeing accomplices.

Richards waited beside John Taylor until he was sure they had gone. Then he went slowly down into the yard. He bent over the murdered Prophet and somehow swung the tall man into his arms, then over his shoulder. Step by step he staggered up the stairs again, and when he had come into the big room he laid the body of the Prophet Joseph beside that of his brother.