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The news traveled quickly.
There was land to be had, and lots of it.
The reports made western New York sound like Paradise, at least to my brother and father, two Vermont rock farmers.
87-1 /2 acres northwest corner of plat 1 3, Palmyra Township.
Congratulations, Mr. Steed.
You own one of the finest tracts of land in upstate New York.
No, l'm not going!
Melissa, this is so--
How can Father do this?
We don't even know anyone in New York.
You mean you don't know anyone like John Connelly.
This is very hard on her.
This is hard on all of us.
We do as we're told, right?
Let's get on with it!
So on the eve of my 1 6th birthday father announced we would move.
He and Nathan went ahead, and we would follow in time for spring planting.
We had never heard of Palmyra, New York or of a man named Joseph Smith.
And we had no way of knowing that for the Steed family our journey was just beginning.
Who knows you're here?
Except my family.
Hey, hey, come here.
Oh, my goodness, you're heavy.
Welcome home, Mrs. Steed.
Let me see if, uh, l got this right.
Joshua's the old one.
Not by much. l hear you're quite the worker.
Get more work done than most men times two.
Then again, Nathan also says that only happens about once a year and only if a young lady is watchin'.
Martin's been the best of neighbors.
He helped us survey the property lines.
Thank you, Mr. Harris.
Not at all. l'm just glad you're finally here.
Ben's been antsier than a bear in a beehive.
Did you miss me, Ben?
New Englanders, ma'am, they're bunch of hemlock nuts.
He missed you.
What's this, Pa?
The Steed Farm.
Put that blasted book away, come on!
Yo! Yo! Giddy-up, mules!
Not even movin'.
Come on, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull.
Haw, haw, haw, haw.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
Two inches closer.
You alright, Pa?
Thank you, son.
We're going to have to cut more of the roots.
Ah, nothin' will be happenin' without a decent chain.
Saddle one of the mules and... and take this in to the blacksmith.
Do you hear me, son?
We've been working on this stump all afternoon, and it hasn't budged an inch. l say we do what everyone else does and leave it and get on with clearing some land.
There will be no stumps on my farm.
Now take the chain in and get it fixed.
Pa, you was nearly killed. l say it stays.
Just heading into town.
Can l pick up something for you?
No, thank you, Martin.
Josh is just on his way.
Hickory is Vermont stubborn.
Thought we'd never get our place cleared. lt's coming fine.
But if we don't get enough wheat and corn in... we're gonna have a tough winter.
Ever thought of hirin' help?
Spring's comin' on hard now.
You're going to want to be plantin' within the month.
Got that money left over from the farm sale, Pa. l know a family a mile or two south of town, they got two boys that hire out. l used them myself and right pleased with their work.
What's their names?
Love this place.
Best part of town.
That's why l work here.
My ma and sisters won't come anywhere near here.
Yeah, you don't want to bring your ma around here.
Hey, this is it.
Much obliged, Steed. Any time, Caleb.
Sure you don't want to come in and meet the boys?
No, l got to run over to Main Street.
Pick up some help that Pa's hired.
And l got a stop to make before that, so...
A stop? Yeah! l saw you two at the dance.
What can l get you? l got a list of things. l just need to check out some tools first.
Oh, Mr. McBride?
Do you know the Smiths down on Stafford Road?
Well, my Pa has hired two of their sons, Hyrum and Joseph. l'm supposed to meet them.
You're new around here.
None of my business, but you might want to tell your pa to think about that. l need some help down here!
How may l help you, Mr. Steed?
My mother needs a few things.
Of course. lt's always a pleasure to help your mother.
You look right pretty today, Lydia.
lf you'll follow me, sir, um, l'll help you get those things together.
Do you know those men?
What do you want with them?
My pa has hired them to clear some land. l'm supposed to take them up to our place.
My brother, Joseph.
Joshua, good to meet you.
Day labor eating with us?
You know how l feel about that.
We've worked a long day, Mary Ann.
Remember the ones in Rutland?
Foul-mouthed, lazy riffraff.
They're not like that, Ma.
You should have seen them.
Cleared near a full acre.
Could hardly get 'em to stop for supper.
Well, Becca's smitten.
And Matthew adores them.
You got me again.
This boy's an ox, Mr. Steed.
No, you go help your sister.
You plum wrestled him out, Matthew.
He's got nothing left... for a real man's game.
Might be good to show the Smith boys here what Vermont stubborn really means.
Joshua is the champion stick-puller in Rutland.
Never seen anyone stand him up.
You leave Joseph and Hyrum be.
They worked hard today.
Yeah, Ma's right.
Big slice of humble pie.
Doesn't sit well with a good meal. l like pie. l'll wager Joseph can throw you over three times straight.
Loser has to pull out that old hickory stump.
That work must have shook your brains loose. l thought you were smarter, being older and all.
Hey, what do you say, Joseph, are you going to stand by your brother?
Always. l don't like this, Ben.
Well, let's get on with it so the Smiths can start digging.
Somebody's going to get hurt.
Are you just going to sit there and let them do this?
Need plenty of room.
Don't want anyone having an advantage.
Here's how it works.
First time Joshua throws Joseph, over.
Draw...for hand position.
You know what? You can take the outside. l don't want you to have any excuses when you lose.
Alright, Nathan, you might want to move that barrel.
That's exactly where Joseph's going to land.
Alright, good clean pull.
Watch your grip, son. Watch your grip.
One more and we're done.
Don't let me down, son. Don't let me down.
Come on, Joseph!
Put him in his place, Joseph!
Tomorrow we'll just hook you up to that hickory stump.
Spare the mules.
Well done, Joshua. lt's been a long time since l came that close to being beaten.
Alright, no sense in us all going in.
Ah, sure there is. l can sit on her pa. Joseph can hog-tie her ma.
And you can say hello to Miss Lydia.
Go on, get out of here.
We'll be back.
Why, Mr. Steed. l didn't know you were in town.
Lydia. Good afternoon.
These are my very best friends in the whole world.
Rilda Jane Freeman.
You coming to the barn raising Saturday? l'll watch for you.
My brother Nathan.
Miss Lydia McBride.
Pleased to meet you. l can tell you are a Steed.
You look very much like your mother. l'd better go. Saturday.
Pleasure to meet you, Miss.
Well, if it ain't Joe Smith. lt is old Joe himself.
Let's go pay our respects.
Afternoon, Miss Lydia.
Out here learning more about them angels, are ya?
No, just came from a recital.
You must be the new family out by the Harris place?
This is my brother, David. Cousin, Mark.
My brother, Nathan.
And Joseph, who you seem to already know.
We know all about old Joe, don't we?
How are you today, sir?
You got that gold Bible yet?
Ain't Joe told you about his gold Bible?
People around here just love that story, especially the part about them angels flying around your house.
Heard tell the waiting time is over this fall. That true?
Think your pa will take gold in payment for supplies, Miss Lydia?
Oh, l imagine we'll be buying our things same as other folks.
Joe, what does an angel look like?
Was it a boy angel or a girl angel?
Yeah, why don't you send one of those angels to tell us where to find some buried treasure?
We'll be waitin'... for the gold.
Alright, so what's all this about a gold Bible and angels?
You really think angels go around showing people where to find buried treasure?
Good. Neither do l.
They said something about a gold Bible.
When a donkey brays do you think he is always saying something important?
Hyah! Come on!
Hyah! Come on!
Hyrum! Come on, push.
Come on! Hyah!
Now...where's the hard one? l'll go help unhook it.
Watch out for hornets.
So, Hyrum. ln town yesterday, some men stopped Joseph, said something about a gold Bible.
They also said something about angels.
Josh. lt is not our place to pry.
Anyone who wants to know about that... would have to ask Joseph.
Do you ask this for yourself?
Or is it just because of the things you've heard?
The only thing l've heard is what Will Murdock said.
You mean you haven't heard that Joe Smith is a lazy, no-account drunkard-- immoral, untrustworthy, utterly unattractive.
Well, there may be some truth to that.
Maybe you've heard of our family.
How we're all grave robbers, devil worshippers, and the like? l don't believe any of that. Neither does my family.
Why would anyone say that?
lf we talk, you'll be late for supper. lt's not for an hour.
l'll not ask you to believe what l tell you, Nathan.
But l'd appreciate it if you'd hear me through to the end.
You ever been to a camp meeting?
Heard of them, but we never went.
Pa says they're organized madness.
That's not far off.
l was about 1 4 when they came to this area.
The Bible says God has already decided on who will be saved.
So l admonish each of you to search your hearts to see if God has elected you.
That's false doctrine, Reverend!
And we won't stay a minute longer!
So many different faiths.
So many opinions.
So much anger. l wondered who, of all these parties, are right.
Or are they all wrong together? lf any one of them be right, which is it?
And how can l know it?
Thank you, dear.
''Let patience have her perfect work, ''that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
''lf any of you lack wisdom, ''let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally
''and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.''
As l was praying, l saw...a pillar of light. lt was exactly over my head. lt gradually descended.
When the light rested upon me, l saw two personages.
Yes, two beings.
Their brightness and glory defy all description.
One of them spoke to me and called me by name and said, ''This is My Beloved Son.
l saw God, Nathan.
And l saw His Son, Jesus Christ. l know how... that must sound to you.
But l say again, l saw God the Father and l saw His Son.
What did they look like?
The light from them was so brilliant l thought the leaves would catch fire.
When l finally gathered my senses, you can imagine how l felt.
This is not what l expected.
Anyway, l asked which of the churches l should join.
And? l was told to join none of them.
l've got to get back.
Nathan. l know what you're thinking.
Trust your heart on this.
Remember Mr. Steed?
Good, ain't it?
He holds the shine better than you do, Coop.
Have a seat, Steed.
Why you taking on with Joe Smith? l ain't taking on with him.
Pa hired him and his brother to clear land. lf it was me, l'd send him packin'.
Them Smiths is daft lunatics.
People are talking about your family.
Wondering if you're taking up with them.
What was that stuff you boys were saying about angels, gold Bible?
You ain't heard?
Smith says some angel came to him in his room one night and told him where some old book is buried.
Joe says it's like the Bible.
And it's written on gold plates.
You believe that?
Not about the angel.
But suppose there is gold.
And suppose we follow Joe when he goes to get it.
There is a lot of treasure buried in these parts.
Spanish brought a lot of gold up here.
So if there's gold, then where is it?
Buried in a hill down by the Smiths'.
The angel said Joe needed to wait some before he could get it.
''The angel said.''
Listen, the word is, time's up this fall.
Me and the boys, we plan on being there when Smith takes out the gold.
Ma. lt's early. lt's Easter Sunday.
Couldn't just stay in bed.
He had a lot to drink last night. lf you believe Miss Sloan, so did Joshua.
She saw him?
With the Murdocks.
Oh, that's why he never came home.
Your father's gonna have a problem with that.
What are you reading?
John, last part.
Remember our New Year's resolutions?
Mine was to read the Four Gospels again by Easter. l'm almost there.
Mary's just come to the empty tomb.
Good place to be reading this morning. l could have finished yesterday, but l wanted to save it. lf Jesus was resurrected, is He still alive?
As a real being? A person?
Thomas felt His hands and feet.
That's pretty real.
But that was 2,000 years ago.
Could He appear to someone now?
Well, He appeared to Mary, to Paul. l suppose He could now, why?
Joshua told you what happened in town the other day, with Joseph?
We don't hold with gossip, Nathan. l know, but...when l walked home with them... l asked Joseph why people were saying those things about him. lt's none of our affair.
Ma, l wanted to know.
He said when he was 1 4, he was confused about which church to join.
And he read in James, l think it was the first chapter, and it said, ''lf you lack wisdom, ask of God.''
Becca, help your sister with the bowls.
Happy Easter, Papa.
Well, Happy Easter to you, Matthew.
What time did Joshua come in last night?
He's not here. l'll be back.
We don't even know where he is.
He's probably on his way home now.
You know, he don't need you stickin' up for him.
Ben! lt's Easter morning. Come and eat.
He'll be along.
What are you doing here? l was looking for you all night.
You looked pretty busy to me. l was hoping you'd come over.
Lydia, we're late! l have to go.
Wednesday, Father and Mother are going to Waterloo. l'll be staying with my aunt on Canandaigua Road.
My aunt isn't nearly as strict as Father.
Will you come?
Lydia! l'll come.
''Now, upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the se--''
Sorry l didn't come home last night, Ma. l was with some friends.
Would that be the Murdocks?
Matthew, Becca, we need eggs.
Look at me. l asked if you thought those two rum-soaked pieces of river trash were your friends.
You don't even know them.
Everybody else in town seems to know them.
They're tavern rats.
You'd know all about tavern rats, wouldn't you, Pa?
We only had to wait but an hour while you and your friends lifted a few mugs of your own.
What did you say?
Beg your pardon.
So the little McBride girl wouldn't give you the time of day, so you go off with your so-called friends and get drunk.
You leave Lydia out of this.
She's a spoiled daughter of a high-minded storekeeper who thinks that farmers like us are no better than stray livestock.
And if you think that you're going to impress her with your patched-up trousers and your manure-covered boots, then you're a bigger fool than l thought!
Ben, that is uncalled for!
How do you know what l did last night?
You chose to be with trash and now people are wondering whether or not Joshua Steed is trash too.
Who cares what people think?
You better care!
You're just worried if Joshua Steed stinks, someone might think his revered father stinks too!
You'd better watch your mouth, boy. lf you're so worried about what people think, you might want to fire the Smiths.
Go to town, Pa.
Listen to what people are saying about Joe Smith and about you for hiring them.
What are they saying about Joseph?
Joe says an angel brought him a gold Bible and it's buried in some hill somewhere and he's gonna translate it and save the world.
Who l hire is my business.
No, Pa, you're worried about stink.
Well, Joe Smith and his angels, they stink to high heaven.
And if you don't care about that, then you can stop caring about who my friends are, 'cause l decide who my friends are, and who they are not, and l do not need your permission.
As long as you live in this house, and you eat at this table, you need my permission.
Then l'll get my things.
Joshua, no. l'll come and help out with the farm, but from now on, l'll be staying in town.
Don't do us any favors. l won't be comin' for you, Pa. l'll be comin' for them.
lt's alright, Ma. lt's alright. lt's alright. lt's time. lt's alright.
Let him go.
Won't you come in?
Mr. Steed. l finished up the work that l had for you. l won't be needing you anymore.
You're gonna have to stop beating everyone at stick-pull.
Are you Mrs. Gates?
Last l checked. l'm Nathan Steed. l heard your niece, Lydia, might be staying with you.
Maybe. Maybe not.
What's your name again?
We live north of town. Ah, Steed. l never met one of you 'til yesterday.
Now my house is run over with Steed boys.
You've seen my brother. Joshua.
Here last night.
Stayed way too long.
Guests and salmon, you know, after four hours they stink.
Would Lydia know where he is now?
She's probably in the library.
Tie your horse.
You can go in through the back.
Your aunt said you were here. l'm sorry, l should have made more noise.
You play beautifully.
You know Verdinae?
The Queen's Symphony.
You surprised me, Nathan.
Hello, once again. l'm looking for Joshua.
He told me about what happened with your father. l'm sorry.
Ma's worried about him.
Sent me with some things. l told him he should talk to your father.
Well, do you know where he's staying?
You knew he got work at the dock, at a warehouse. ls he there now? Probably.
But he'll be along after work.
May l? Of course.
Let's go out back. lt's cooler there.
Your aunt's garden is beautiful. lt's a very old place. l used to play here with my cousins.
The flowers match your dress.
Hello, little brother.
Ma sent some bread and things.
Melissa sent your jacket.
Thanks. l was hoping you'd come. l told you l would.
Melissa said you can have her warming stone if you decide to come back. l'm not coming back. l know.
Ma wants you to come for supper Sunday. lt'd be good, Joshua.
Listen, here's some of my wages.
Give them to Pa to hire some help with.
Pa fired Joseph and Hyrum.
Well, good for him.
Josh. lt is.
People in town are talking.
Joseph and Hyrum are good workers.
Those wild stories--
They aren't wild stories.
My friend's parents heard it straight from Joseph's father about him going in the woods and seeing angels.
He never said he saw angels. lt doesn't matter what he said.
Stuff you'd hear in an asylum and Pa's smart to be rid of them.
Tell Ma and Melissa thank you.
You comin' Sunday? l don't know.
Take care, Josh. l'll leave your things.
l wonder what a certain father will say when he finds a dock worker's been calling on his only daughter.
But you kind of like that, don't you?
Be honest, child. l wasn't thinking--
Sometimes the forbidden fruit seems the sweetest, but you have to ask yourself, will the fruit get sweeter with age-- or just go bland?
Good-night, Aunt Edie.
Did you know the brother is your age?
The brother, Nathan.
He knew about Verdinae.
Hello there, Missy.
You gonna need some company tonight? l've seen you walking by here!
Come on! ln here.
l thought you weren't coming.
This is a horrible place.
Out there, not in here. l can't stay long.
Regressing from man to ape.
That's what the foreman wants around here is apes.
Just keep those bales moving onto the barges, you animals.
Steward Croft is looking for a store clerk.
Yeah, at half the pay l'm making here.
But twice the working conditions.
Lydia! ln a year, maybe year and a half, l'll have enough money to buy my own team and wagon. ls that what you want?
You should move back home.
You could still work here, but it would save you room and board.
Four dollars a month is worth it not to have to live under Pa's thumb. lt isn't right being separated from your family. l'm not going back.
Let's talk about something else. l've gotta go, Joshua. l shouldn't be here.
No, no, listen, listen, l'm sorry. l'm really glad you came.
Steed! lt's Will and David.
Yeah, they're bringing my supper.
Joshua, they can't know l was here.
Don't worry, they won't say anything. No! ls there another way out?
Yeah, let me walk you out.
Don't tell them l was here.
Steed, open up!
Hello, Lydia. lt's been a while.
Been helping Mr. Harris get his corn in.
Oh, here, let me.
Where would you like it?
Thank you. l was in town and thought l'd get some candy for the kids.
Uh, four of these.
Five of these.
Have you seen Joshua?
Not often. He works a lot.
We were hopin' he'd come for Ma's birthday. l stopped at the warehouse, he wasn't there.
He's with the Murdocks a lot, at the tavern. l left a note at the boarding house, but if you see him, could you give him that message?
Spendin' an awful lot of time in town lately, aren't you?
Ma's birthday's Sunday. l know.
She'd like you to come to dinner.
l don't know if l can.
Don't know if you can, or don't know if you will? l said l don't know if l can.
But l think you owe it to Ma.
Tell your mother Happy Birthday for me.
Good afternoon, Mr. Steed.
You're Nathan, aren't you?
You're Joseph's wife.
Last week at the blacksmith's. l don't expect you to remember me.
Oh, l do, though.
How is Joseph?
He was just speaking of you the other day.
He was wondering how the crops turned out with your family.
We did well, thanks to him and Hyrum.
Do you mind if we cross the street?
Hey. l hate this.
Mrs. Joe Smith.
Excuse us, please.
What's your hurry? Where's Joe nowadays?
Heard he fled the country.
Mrs. Smith has an appointment.
Oh, look at this, Luke.
Mrs. Smith's got herself an escort.
Please let us pass.
He even says please.
Are you alright?
Nathan helped me.
Thank you, Nathan.
Where you been, Joe?
Been lookin' for more treasure down there in Pennsylvania?
You got that gold Bible yet?
Hey, Joe, them angels letting you and the missus sleep at night?
The wagon is down by the barn.
Make way for what?
We're coming through, Will.
Come on, Nate.
We just want to ask Joe some questions.
Ain't nobody gonna get hurt.
Get out of the way, Will.
Now that ain't no way to talk to an old friend, Mister high and mighty Nathan Steed.
This a relative of yours, Josh?
Yeah...after a manner of speaking.
So you're a part of this too?
Want answers just like everyone else.
No answers today, Josh.
Emma and l were just leaving. l asked you that last spring.
You didn't answer me then, either.
So what about this gold Bible, Joe?
Does it even exist?
You've shamed the family enough.
Now, what about those plates?
Where are they?
Them spirits tell you when you're going to get 'em?
You boys should know all about spirits.
All that time you're spending down at Phelps Tavern.
All you fine Christian people! ls this what you teach on Sunday?
A decent woman gets accosted on our streets and there's not a man here with the courage to say a thing!
Think of that Sunday while you're on your knees saying your prayers!
You, too? l didn't say anything.
Yeah, l noticed.
Nathan. What a nice surprise!
Please, come in!
No, l can't. l just wanted to talk to Joseph.
Mother Smith, this is Nathan Steed who helped us in town today.
Joseph, it's Nathan Steed.
Oh, please. Come in and sit down.
We've got pie in the kitchen.
Oh, l really can't.
Emma, fetch Father and the children.
Mama, who is it?
Really, Mrs. Smith. l've got to get back.
Nathan, give up. No one refuses Mother. l'm surprised l can walk.
Mother's pie is legend.
You can ask, Nathan. lt's probably none of my affair and if it isn't, just say so. l think it may be very much your affair.
Everyone talks about you seeing angels and having a gold Bible. ls there any truth to all this?
Do you have gold plates or a gold Bible?
Can l ask you a question?
Have you thought about what l told you before?
A lot. l don't know.
Part of me wants to believe it. l mean, l know you're not a liar, Joseph.
But part of me says, this is incredible.
God appearing to a 1 4-year-old? l'm sorry.
No, no, don't be. l feel the same.
Sometimes l wonder, why did this happen to me?
And the answer is always the same: l don't know. l just know that it did.
Mother believes you.
She's prayed about it, for months.
Says she just knows.
That means a great deal to me, Nathan.
Will you tell her that?
Now about these gold plates...
You said there weren't any. l said l don't have them... and l don't... yet.
That's the biggest cartload of nonsense l've ever heard.
There is no need to be insulting, Ben. l just can't believe that a son of mine would, would sit there and listen to talk of angels and buried gold plates without even so much as lifting an eyebrow.
What's the lying fool going to say next?
Do you believe this tripe?
l know how you feel, Ben. But think about it.
What if it's true?
The heavens opened again, God speaking to his children like in Bible times.
Ben, what if it is true? lt's not!
The boy's a raving lunatic straight out of an asylum.
Pa, we know Joseph.
He worked with us all that time. l don't--l don't think he's a liar.
He doesn't have to be lyin'.
Have you ever heard of being deceived? lt's the devil's work, Mary Ann.
And you talk about it, you talk about it out of my presence.
No! lt's crazy talk.
And God help the fool who listens to it.
ls this it?
Got to be!
Mr. Harris said it was the next road up, just across the creek. lt's hard for me to see you in so much pain, dear.
Oh, Aunt Edie! lt looks so forward of me coming to his home.
We'll just turn around and go back home.
No one will be the wiser.
On the other hand, if you'll just go on in and get this over with, maybe we can get back to life as we know it.
He should be out here.
He's been working on the fence for hours.
l'd love to watch his face when he sees you.
But l'll be back at the house.
You've come because of what happened in town, with Joseph and his wife.
Did he tell you?
He was so angry with the people.
But you being there... l think that bothered him most of all. l just saw a crowd and came to see what was going on. l wasn't part of it.
That's what l told him.
How did you know? l guessed. l'm so glad you've come to talk to him. l hope he'll listen. lt'll be fine.
Thank you, Melissa.
Did you talk to him?
Come on, girl.
The whole story or l'm dropping you off right here.
We had a very nice talk.
Did you touch his hand?
Did he touch yours?
Did you take his arm?
Was there a hug with the good-bye?
None of your business.
So what about the brother?
What about him?
Are you going to make a choice, dear?
Or just tear this poor family to shreds by driving both of them out of their minds?
We've been watching his place.
He has them now, hidden in the woods.
But tonight he's bringing 'em home.
How do you know?
Joe's paid a cabinet maker in town to make him a chest.
Told Gilson it had to be a strong one, with a lock on it.
Hyrum Smith picked up the chest this morning.
Well, then, Will, get the boys together.
Tonight's the night.
Lydia, what are you doing out? How did you know where l was?
Someone at the dock said you were here.
We need to talk, Joshua.
We will, later.
Waiting for some friends.
We're going out to the Smiths'.
What friends? Why?
Lydia, Joe's getting the gold tonight.
Everyone in town has been buzzing about these plates for years.
We're going to be the first ones to see them.
Just...just wait here.
One hour. Then we can talk.
Saddle up, Steed.
Just wait inside. l'll be back.
Willard Chase has been watching from his place, says Joe's fixing to leave any time.
You have guns.
Lydia, Lydia, nobody's going to get hurt, okay?
The guns are just to make sure Joe doesn't get away.
You're talking about robbery!
That gold ain't Smith's. lt's buried treasure, and it belongs to all of us!
Woman getting skittish?
Lydia, l'm just asking for one hour.
You're asking for a lot more than that.
He's headed up the hill.
Will, you and me are following.
You two head up Armington Road, hide where it meets Stafford.
How are you going to get it down there?
Joe's coming back this way. lf we miss him, you've got to get him.
Stick it right in here.
And just be careful that you don't stick your finger here.
Just pull this real tight here.
See this hole here? Yep.
Who on earth?
Mr. Steed, may l speak with you and Nathan? lt's very urgent.
He's left the road.
We're going to lose him.
This is it. He's in those trees.
Stay here in case l miss him.
You stupid mule. l told you to stay here.
We could have had him. Now, come on.
Has he got the gold?
Come on, let's cut him off.
Alright, get behind that tree and don't move till l say.
He's going to come right between us.
You could hit me, too.
Get him, Will!
Alright, let's get this over with.
Mrs. Smith, l am deeply sorry if my son had anything to do with this.
You may rest assured that before the night is through, it will be taken care of.
Thank you, Mr. Steed. l appreciate your coming.
Do you have any idea where Joseph is?
We'd like to find him and make sure everything is al--
Mother, can you get some water.
He's in the barn.
Samuel. Go fetch Father.
Tell him l was attacked by some men out on Armington Road.
They may still be there.
Then go to Hyrum's and get the chest.
Joseph, did they get the record?
They tried. l hid it just outside.
What are you doing here, Nathan?
My brother may have been one of those who attacked you.
He and Will Murdock.
Are you sure? lt was dark, but... l could tell by his voice. l'm sure. l'm sorry. l don't hold you in any way accountable.
Pa and l are going up to Armington. lt's probably too late. We're going.
Nathan and l will join you.
l'll tell you what, those Maston boys, they don't come into town anymore
'cause l beat 'em every stinkin' time.
Evening, Pa. Nathan.
Care for a drink? lt's a cold night out.
l'd like a word outside.
Ah, come on, Pa.
Have a drink, then we'll talk. l said outside.
Now, Mr. Steed, l--
Shut your mouth.
You got something to say, you can say it here.
Oh, that's good.
We'll shame the Steed family once again in public.
Let's wake the town so everybody can come and see what my son here has done.
And just what have l done?
Gone after Joe Smith and his gold plates.
The McBride girl came for us.
She told us what you and these mongrel dogs were doing. l told you she was trouble.
So was it you that hid in the woods and jumped Joe from behind... like a man?
l don't know what you're talking about.
Joseph heard your voice call for Will.
Why don't you be man enough to admit it? l don't see what the problem is. He made it home alright.
Joshua! lt's plain robbery!
Those plates aren't his.
He found them.
Ben, we got a problem here?
No problem. l just came to get my son.
Don't you ever touch me again!
Hello, Martin! ls that you?
Ben, good to see you.
You've been away. lndeed l was.
Come on, let's get out of the heat.
Heard you were down in Pennsylvania.
Yeah, l just got back day before yesterday.
Yes. l was helping Joseph Smith translate...the sacred record. lt's called the Book of Mormon.
For six days l wrote and he translated.
How can he translate anything?
He's got so little schooling.
That's the miracle.
So you've seen them. You've seen the plates?
Joseph wishes that he could show them to people, but the angel has forbidden it.
But this has been very, very difficult for him to bear alone. l can imagine. l know what you are thinking, Ben, and believe me, l had my doubts, too.
Joseph's a good boy and all, but, l mean, l was getting a lot of pressure from my wife, from other people.
Why, they thought l was crazy.
So what l did was l asked Joseph if he'd copy down some of the characters from the plates for me.
Here, take a look.
Who's to say what these are or what they mean?
That's exactly what l thought.
So l took them to New York City.
Went to Columbia College. l found a professor of ancient languages there, Professor Anthon, and he examined them for me, and he told me they were true ancient characters.
l best be getting on, Martin.
Thank you for the wine.
You can think what you will, but Joseph does have a sacred record, and he is translating it through the power of God.
When it's published l'll get you a copy.
You can see for yourself.
For months we heard nothing from Joshua, then word began trickling in:
Wanted in lndiana for pulling a gun on a lawman, he had fled to Missouri, the edge of the frontier.
And in a place almost without law, had become a law unto himself.
Raise you five.
You playin' or what, Steed?
Hold your horses, friend.
See your five.
And raise you fifteen. l'm out.
So, Steed... l think you're bluffing. l'll see your twenty.
Raise you twenty more.
Must be a powerful hand.
Why don't we make things interesting? l got a freight business, not as big as yours.
Two wagons, six ox, eight head of horse flesh.
What are you saying, Steed?
My company... and everything on the table against your stock and wagons.
That greed's going to bring you down. l'll see you. l'll raise you my entire outfit.
Winner take all.
Queens over 1 0s.
Drinks on me, boys.
For a moment l thought you were going to close your eyes and offer a prayer of thanks when Papa told us to go for a walk...
With Joshua gone, it became easy for Nathan and Lydia to fall in love.
But we all knew the matter was far from over.
There would be the devil to pay when Joshua found out.
Can we walk through here?
My friends think it's spooky, but l love this place, it's peaceful.
Lydia, you know that l love you.
Yes. l want to ask your father's permission to marry you.
He'll say no.
Mother's sister runs a girl's school in Boston.
They want me to go there and spend a year with her.
Mother says if l accept, she'll not stand in our way when l get back.
You should go. l'll work while you're gone.
A Mr. Knight, down by Pennsylvania, wants me to hire on.
By next fall we could pay off our land free and clear. ln twelve months you'll change. l won't. l can't.
Lydia, upstairs, at the end of the hall, room six.
Dearest Lydia, an item of great concern has come to our attention.
Nathan Steed has returned to Palmyra from Colesville a few days ago.
He says he has returned to help his father.
But sources say it is really because Joseph Smith has returned to the area.
When Nathan came in the store yesterday, l confronted him and he openly admitted he has been baptized and joined Smith and his followers.
Stay away from my daughter!
Lydia, to this point l have largely stayed out of this decision you have made, but l can be silent no longer.
These events only confirm our deep concerns about your choice of Nathan Steed, and l must forbid you from pursuing this relationship further.
Dinner's not quite ready. l'm not having dinner, Aunt Helen. l'm leaving for home as soon as possible.
Pa said l had some mail. ls this it?
When did these come?
They came back together about two weeks ago. l asked you to mail these months ago, and they just came back?
They came two weeks ago.
You never even mailed them. l mailed them, Joshua, but no one paid the postage when it got there.
Look at the envelopes.
Your precious Lydia never opened them.
She sent them back without reading them. l've got to go. Pa's waitin'.
Come spring l'm going to be heading east for awhile. lt's time to see my family.
You mean it's time to see Lydia.
l've got to go.
Steed, you're not welcome here. l'll be taking your daughter out for awhile, Mr. McBride.
You'll be doing nothing of the sort!
She'll be back...sometime.
He wouldn't let me come see you.
That's why l had to make a good impression.
This has been the longest ten months of my life.
Why didn't you say anything about this obsession you have with Joseph Smith? l wrote a letter.
After you'd been baptized?
What is this fixation you have with Joseph?
Does it take priority over everything we've planned?
This is not about Joseph.
Joseph's been called of God. lt's God l'm following.
Then what comes first, Nathan, me or this religion?
Do l come first before your parents?
You have no idea how deeply my parents feel about this Joseph Smith madness.
You continue on this way and l marry you, l will be completely rejected by my parents. l won't be welcome in their home.
My name won't be spoken in their presence again!
You're their only daughter, they wouldn't.
They would, Nathan.
Would you ask that of me?
Lydia. l love you! l want to marry you. l love you. Don't you know that? l love you, Nathan. l'm ready to tell my parents if they can't accept you, then they will lose me.
But l will not do that for Joseph.
He's a fraud. l can't believe you've allowed yourself to be deceived.
Lydia, l-- l'm willing to choose you over my parents, Nathan.
Are you willing to choose me over Joseph?
ls that your answer?
Lydia...don't do this.
l was in Fayette yesterday.
Joseph finished translating the Book of Mormon.
E.B. Grandin in town said he'd print it if Joseph can come up with some kind of security.
What kind of security?
Three thousand dollars.
l'm going to mortgage my farm. l'm going in tomorrow with a lawyer and draw up the papers.
That's a lot of money, Martin.
Oh, l know.
Are you certain you want to do this?
Don't let Joseph talk you into it unless you're sure.
Ben, do you feel l'm an honest man?
Of course. l am sure.
Do you think he's lying?
Martin Harris is one of the finest men that l've ever met, and he's no liar.
He's been deluded.
Deluded? l don't know how Joseph has done this, but it's evil and l want no part of it.
Do you know that Martin has mortgaged his farm and that he's given Joseph three thousand dollars?
He hasn't given it to Joseph.
He's given it to the printers to print the Book of Mormon.
Joseph won't see one penny.
Well, three thousand dollars is nonsense. lf you would just come and listen to Joseph, even once.
This has gone far enough here.
You're bringing the children into this, and l'm not having this destroy our family.
What are you saying, Ben? l'm saying there will be no mentioning Joseph Smith's name in this house again.
Not by you or Nathan.
And if Nathan won't accept that, will you put your fist into his face too? l can't speak for Nathan.
Nathan has his own property now.
But so help me, you are my wife, and l will speak for you, and that's the end of it.
Bring this man another.
Much obliged, Steed.
What brings you out this far west, Caleb?
Well, l hear there's money to be made.
Weren't in Palmyra.
You--you done alright, haven't you?
Yeah, l done alright.
How are things back home?
Well, same pack of dopes sweating on the docks.
Ever see the storekeeper's daughter Lydia McBride?
Ooh, what a looker!
You mean, you ain't heard?
She and your brother?
What about them?
What about them?!
They're engaged to be married.
Matthew, is your arithmetic finished? l'm working on it.
lt's done, Ma.
What is it, Nathan?
Book of Mormon.
Really! lt's finished?
Does it have any pictures?
No, no pictures.
Matthew, a book doesn't have to have pictures to be wonderful.
Where did you get it?
First copies went on sale yesterday.
Went straight there and bought three.
This copy's yours, Ma. l can't. l bought it for you. l can't take it, Nathan.
Ma, it's my gift.
Pa can't forbid that.
Your father and l have--
Matthew, we need eggs. l know.
Your father and l had a talk the other night.
He's absolutely against it, Nathan.
He's forbidden me to talk about it or to read the Book of Mormon.
He has no right to do that! l won't go behind his back, Nathan. l can't keep it. l can.
He hasn't told me that l can't have it.
Both of you believe Joseph. l want to read this and find out for myself. l don't think this is wise.
Why is Pa this way?
That's how he was raised, Nathan.
He's no harder on us than he is on himself.
Your father's a good man. l pray every day that the Lord will soften his heart.
But even if he doesn't, l'm still married to him.
Good morning, Pa. l heard you were putting your floor in.
Thought you might could use some help.
Ma tell you l came over this morning?
Did you ask for some help?
No. l brought her a Book of Mormon. l went into town yesterday and bought her one.
Don't worry, Pa.
She wouldn't take it.
Said you had already threatened her. lt's a good thing.
No, Pa. lt's not a good thing. lt's wrong.
You'd better watch your mouth, boy.
What right do you have to tell us what we will or won't believe?
You can believe what you like, but you stay away from Joseph Smith and his devil work.
You and your ma want to go out and join some regular church and thump the Bible and say your prayers, that's up to you.
When you start taking on with evil, l draw the line.
So just call it evil.
Then bigotry's alright?
You're out of line, boy.
What did Grandpa Steed give his life for at Valley Forge?
Freedom from kings.
Freedom to own your own land.
Freedom to worship however you choose.
Grandpa must be real proud right now. l came over here to help you. l don't want your help.
l used to be proud to be a Steed. l thought it meant something.
My dearest Lydia, l write you with the heaviest of hearts, for l know the distance that separates us.
This little homestead over which l labor once filled me with joy.
Now the labor is drudgery.
l can hardly bear the prospect that the light of your smile will never brighten these walls.
What stands between us? l believe Joseph Smith is a man called of God to bring about a great work in our time.
You believe he is a fraud, the devil's own servant.
The Savior said, ''By their fruits ye shall know them.'' l enclose the fruit of Joseph's labors.
Lydia, l ask no more than that.
Test the Lord.
There is a verse in the Bible that expresses the deepest feelings of my heart for you.
Please give this to Lydia. lf you would truly know how l feel, read the words of John in his second epistle, first chapter, fifth verse.
Yours with a love beyond measure, Nathan Steed.
ls Miss Lydia here?
She's gone to her aunt and won't be back until tonight.
Something l can help you with?
Could you see that she gets this?
'Course. Any message to go with it?
Thank you, if you could just get it to her.
That l will.
Got all ready?
No, just fetching some fabric.
What did the Steed girl want?
Oh, the wagon's leaving. l'll be back to cook supper.
Evening, little brother. l understand you've been messing around in my personal life.
See, l'm not going to be a dirt farmer like you and Pa, Nathan. l got plans.
Lydia's part of those plans.
Lydia doesn't want you.
No, but she will.
No, l won't.
l know how to use this.
The sheriff knows you're here. He has a warrant out for you.
Josh. This is insane.
We're brothers. l don't hold any malice.
You tell Pa supper's ready?
Told him twice.
What did he say, Matthew?
Nothing--just kept looking out the barn door. l asked what he was doing when l went out to feed the chickens.
This afternoon when l asked him if l could go to the village, it was like he didn't even hear me.
Set the table, Melissa.
Ben, what happened at Nathan's?
Remember, Ben, he's still very upset about Lydia.
He said he brought you a Book of Mormon. l told him l couldn't take it.
He said that. l'll not be going against your will, Ben. l told you that.
Then l'll not be saying any more about it.
lf you want my permission to read the book, you have it.
My feelings of Joseph haven't changed.
But l'll not be tellin' ya what to believe.
Ben, Joseph is going to start a church a week from Tuesday down in Fayette.
He's invited Nathan, Melissa, and me.
She's not sure she accepts it, and l'll not be pushing her, l promise you that.
But l think she'd like to go.
lf l were to be baptized?
l'll not tell you what to do. lf that's what you want.
Can you do something important for me?
You need eggs.
Can you watch the team while l load Ma's stuff in the wagon?
There's no trace.
We've searched. l think he's gone back to Missouri.
The other morning, what l said. l'm sorry.
Needed to be said.
Fields are drying out. l thought maybe next week we could work together on the plowing.
We're going to have to build a fence around you two just to keep the riffraff off.
Thank you, Ben.
We'll be home end of the week.
Rest the mules every few miles.
Thank you, Papa. l love you.
l love you, Papa.
l love you.
Can l go, too, Melissa?
No--Nathan, just drive slowly. l'll catch up.
Why do you need to go into town now?
We have to be in Fayette before dark, Melissa. lt will only take a minute. l'll catch up.
Have you found everything you need?
Don't you look pretty.
How are you, Lydia?
That's why l came.
He doesn't know l'm here. lt's been over a week, Lydia. l know how you feel, but Nathan deserves an answer.
lf you would truly know how l feel, read the words of John.
''Now l beseech thee, lady, ''not as though l wrote a new commandment unto thee, ''but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.''
So you threw out my package?
We'll not have that evil thing in our house, Lydia.
Nathan sent it to us all wrapped up and hidden so we wouldn't know what it was.
He didn't send it to us, Mama, he sent it to me.
Did you read the letter, too?
When l saw it was a Book of Mormon l threw it in the trash where it belongs. l want to know, did you read my letter, too, Papa? lt's going back in the trash where it belongs.
Give me that book!
You sent me to Boston to learn something.
Well, l did. l saw a different life, where different ideas are respected, examined, not feared.
You are ready to destroy this book without even looking at it. lt's blind intolerance.
That's not what you've taught me.
Brothers and sisters, we are met for the purpose of organizing The Church of Jesus Christ again upon the Earth.
Mary Ann Morgan Steed.
''Entreat me not to leave thee, for whither thou goest, l will go, and where thou lodgest, l will lodge.''
''Thy people shall be my people...''
''and thy God, my God.''
This book is not evil. l want to believe, Nathan.
l love you, Nathan Steed.
l remember how right, how beautiful everything looked to me that day.
For the first time in months there was hope-- hope for me when it came my turn, hope for healing in my family, and perhaps, with tolerance, hope for us all.