The Rival at the Revival

“New York? So what brings you to Iowa, Mr. Hull?”

“On my way west, Reverend, I hear there’s gold for everyone. Thought I’d stop in and see my sister before I strike it rich. I didn’t expect to find a revival going on here.”

“Watch that ‘root of all evil...’ Hmmm, New York... I know a good Methodist preacher there by the name of Titus Sinks. You don’t happen to know...”

“Let me stop you there, Reverend,” George said, holding his hand up firmly.

“I take it you’re not a church-going man, Mr. Hull?”

“No, Reverend, I’m not.”

“Shoulda’ guessed... New York after all... you ever even opened a bible, Mr. Hull?”

“Oh, yes indeed I have, Reverend.”

“And what did you find there?”

“I don’t want to offend, but mostly a load of superstition... sprinkled with some good advice here and there, I’ll grant you!”

“Superstition?! Good advice?! Why, every word is the word of God!”

“Now surely you don’t believe that, Reverend... I mean... every word?”

“Every word the truth!”

“Talking snakes? Two of every animal? Even the part about... giants?”

“I assume you’re referring to Genesis, Mr. Hull, chapter six, verse four: There were giants in the earth in those days... yes, yes I do. I’m sure it’ll eventually be proven, even to atheists like you.”

George believed him. Not about the bible, but he believed that the reverend believed. That he really believed. And the gears started turning in his head.

On October 16, 1869, workers digging a well in Cardiff, New York came upon an amazing discovery. The petrified remains of a ten-foot-tall man – a giant! The Cardiff Giant. And despite the laughing dismissal of every scientist who examined the gypsum carving, George Hull still collected over $30,000 in viewing fees from the unwavering public.


Enbrethiliel said...


You have a fondness for these showy characters (not necessarily con artists!), don't you? ;-) The Brooklyn Bridge guy, Miracle Mike's owner, Xu Fu . . . If I had a better memory, I'd be able to name more.

cyurkanin said...

Are you doing a psychological profile on me?

Enbrethiliel said...


Just tracking trends, as I do on those Top Ten Tuesday events I join. (Do you know what the top two suggestions for "Recommended Reading for Teens" were??? To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee . . . and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I don't know when I'll be publishing the full list, though.)

Don't get self-conscious or anything, though. =P

cyurkanin said...

Not surprised by those suggestions, ma'am. I did see the last Harry Potter movie, though!

And yes, I do have a certain fondness for "characters" - con men even. I find it so much easier to forgive faults and flaws in people with the nerve to always take you up on the "I dare you to..."