The Preacher’s Curse

Stoyt screamed, “Will you shut up? You old hypocrite!” Stoyt knocked him to the floor, and as Mr. Falck weaved dizzily on hands and knees, kicked him in the side with a heavy boot. The other two guards were holding back the sputtering Doremus. Stoyt jeered at Mr. Falck, “Well, you old bastard, you’re on your knees, so let’s hear you pray!”

“I shall!”

In agony Mr. Falck raised his head, dust-smeared from the floor, straightened his shoulders, held up trembling hands, and with such sweetness in his voice as Doremus had once heard in it when men were human, he cried, “Father, Thou hast forgiven so long! Forgive them not but curse them, for they know what they do!” He tumbled forward, and Doremus knew that he would never hear that voice again.

It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

  • Biography from Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

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