Jenny Plague-Bringer: (Jenny Pox #4)

Jenny Plague-Bringer: (Jenny Pox #4) by J. Bryan Read Free Book Online

Book: Jenny Plague-Bringer: (Jenny Pox #4) by J. Bryan Read Free Book Online
Authors: J. Bryan
Tags: Fiction, Occult & Supernatural
her as she walked toward the revival tent, trying
     to avoid any contact with the ever-thicker crowd, where people didn’t mind doing a
     little elbowing and jostling.  She hoped her gloves, dress, and headwear were enough
     to protect them from her.
    The revival traveled the same general railroad circuit as the carnival, so they often
     saw each other’s posters in the towns they visited, though they’d never pitched tent
     in the same town at the same time.  There wouldn’t have been enough money for either
     group.
    Juliana had heard of miraculous healings at this particular revival.  Naturally, she’d
     first assumed that the performances were trickery, either making people feel momentarily
     better using dramatic stage techniques, or else the healed people were just shills
     in cahoots with the preacher.
    However, she’d heard repeated stories from town to town.  An old blind man who could
     now see, a World War I veteran who’d regrown an ear he’d lost in combat. A woman who’d
     been coughing up blood, dying of consumption and too weak to walk, who was now well
     and could take care of her children and work around the farm. 
    After hearing one miraculous story after another about locals in one town after another,
     Juliana had begun to believe something magical might actually be happening at that
     revival.  She’d become determined to visit it the next time it passed close to the
     carnival.  With the carnival shut down by local authorities for Sunday worship, it
     was the perfect time for Juliana to sneak off and see the revival for herself.
    The front flaps of the tent wall were tied open, and nobody collected an admission
     fee.  People were free to walk in and out of the tent, if the thick crowd allowed
     it.
    She eased her way inside.  The tent was packed full, everybody cramming in to stand
     under the shade and listen to a preacher on the stage at the far end of the tent from
     the entrance.  He was a white-haired, pudgy man in a gray suit, dabbing his sweaty
     double chin with a handkerchief, his eyes bugging as he shouted at the audience, who
     responded with shouts and cries of their own.
    “The devil is not some character in a radio program or a child’s picture book!” the
     preacher shouted, and a number of audience members shouted back, agreeing. “The devil
     is real, brothers and sisters.  The devil walks among us, wearing masks!  He can come
     in any form at all!  But when he does, you’ll know him!  You’ll know him because he
     tempts you with gold!  With fornication!  With sin and worldly pleasures...but those
     pleasures are false!  Yes, they are!  And those tempting, earthly pleasures will fall
     away, and you’ll see they come drawing hellfire behind them!  Yes, sir!  The Lord
     is great...abh ah loch tay moota howklo tarris be hock bot a mok nay hapa tah...” 
     His eyes closed and he raised one shaking arm, clutching the handkerchief in his fist.
    Juliana didn’t understand what the preacher was saying, but lots of people in the
     crowd started making similar nonsense words.  Some waved their hands high and closed
     their eyes, while others went into convulsions, crashing into those around them and
     finally flopping on the dirt like dying fish.  Many of them simply screamed or howled. 
     She didn’t know what to think as the crowd seemed to turn rabid.
    “Isn’t this wonderful?” A hand seized Juliana’s arm, and she gasped.  It was the woman
     from the wagon, with kids and husband in tow.  The husband carried the boy with the
     crippled leg.  With the heavy crowd, Juliana hadn’t penetrated far into the tent,
     and now the family had caught up with her.
    Juliana looked down at where the woman clutched her—fortunately, her sleeve protected
     the woman from a rapid, painful death, but Juliana didn’t feel comfortable about it.
    “Is this the preacher does the healing?” the husband asked.  He bounced the little
     boy in his arms, and

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