The Rebellion of Yale Marratt

BOOK: The Rebellion of Yale Marratt
author of
The shocking novel that explores a new kind of sexual relationship
"SENSATIONAL . . . Rimmer is candid about sexual mat-
ters and presents a new code of ethics which is aimed
at bolstering a social structure which in the past 50 years
is breaking into smaller and smaller family units."
-- Los Angeles Herald-Examiner
"A SHOCKER, lots of sex, lots of wild parties, lots of free
thinking. Its merits will be debated quite a while."
-- Long Beach Press-Telegram
"A novel on bigamy which is causing shocked reaction in
some quarters and stimulating provocative debate in
-- San Francisco Examiner
All characters and situations in this novel are entirely fictional
and any resemblance to any persons living or dead
is purely coincidental.
A division of
The Hearst Corporation
959 Eighth Avenue
New York, N. Y. 10019
Copyright 1964 by Robert H. Rimmer.
Published by arrangement with Challenge Press.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 64-16411.
All rights reserved, which includes the right
to reproduce this book or portions thereof in
any form whatsoever. For information address
Challenge Press, Inc., 63 Summer Street,
Boston, Mass. 02110.
First Printing. June, 1967.
Fifth Printing, March, 1969.
Cover photo by Morgan Kane
Printed in the U.S.A.
In the last portion of this novel, Yale Marratt creates
a foundation called Challenge Incorporated. The similarity
in name to that of the original publisher of The Rebellion
of Yale Marratt is purely coincidental. In neither fact nor
fiction does any familiarity exist.
The trial started promptly at nine thirty in the morning. The courtroom
was packed five minutes after it opened with a jabbering mob of the curious
and prurient. They had waited in the chill October fog with more than
a thousand others for a glimpse of Cynthia and Anne, and the man, Yale
Marratt, who lived so disgustingly with two women. The freak of a man
. . . who had been headlined in the morning papers with that queer one,
Agatha Latham, who was going to leave him her entire fortune. The man
who it was said had founded a multi-million dollar religion using some
strange and weird power he exerted over women both young and old.
When Ralph Weeks drove the Buick in front of the Buxton County Courthouse,
Yale, Anne, Cynthia, and Agatha were immediately surrounded by a mob of
excited women who shoved and pushed at each other, yelling and screaming.
Some seemed friendly, others stared disdainfully. The police broke a
path through the crowd up the steps toward the courthouse.
Anne grinned at Yale for a fleeting second. "There's no half-way, Yale,"
she said, "they either love you or hate you."
Walking side by side, following Agatha who was being helped up the long
stairs to the courthouse by Yale and Ralph Weeks, Cynthia and Anne ignored
the jibes. For some curious reason many of the women who stared at them
seemed to like Yale but were angry at the girls. One woman, slipping by
the police, said, "Pay no attention to them, dearies. They're just put
out because you two got him and not them. I don't blame you a bit. If
he asked me, I'd marry him. You hang onto him." The police pushed the
woman back but Anne and Cynthia couldn't help smiling at each other.
Anne and Cynthia tried to conceal their nervousness. Here and there the
milling crowd would feel the impact of their contrasting beauty and the
youthful grace in their clean young faces, and would become silent for
a moment. It was as if the people staring at them suddenly realized
that these were not sordid females championing an unholy alliance,
but two lovely girls with a fresh ardor and wonder for life. Were these
spectators aware for a second of the proud strength of these women?
Cynthia, Anne and Agatha were directed to a row of bench-like seats
already partially occupied by Barbara and Liz Marratt. Cynthia sat next
to Liz, looked at her timidly, and smiled back when Liz squeezed her hand.
"Pat isn't coming," Liz said. "I'm sorry it has come to this. I really
don't know. . . ." Liz sighed. She looked distraught. "When people see
you and Anne they get confused. You look like such nice kids. I think a
lot of people feel that if this is the way you want it . . . why does
anyone have to interfere? There are worse things. It would be nice if
there were some simple solution. . . ."
Cynthia smiled at her but didn't answer; her eyes were liquid with
tears. She tried to grin at Yale who sat next to Saul Angle at the
table set aside for the defense. Yale's lips formed the words "stop
worrying." But Cynthia couldn't help herself. She prayed by some miracle
that they would continue their lives together. The words of Saul Angle
kept circling in her brain. "We could work this out, Yale," Saul had
said just last night. "It doesn't have to come to trial. Don't forget
there are people in this city after you . . . not for bigamy, but for
other things. You've stirred up a lot of rancor. People are afraid of
what you'll do next."
Yale had asked Saul just how he proposed to "work it out." Saul had
suggested a closed hearing with Judge Rufus Small who would preside on
the case. Make an admission of guilt and pay the fine. If they wanted
to stay together, then they could move to Mexico or South America.
Yale had looked at Saul unbelievingly. "Saul . . . you miss the point.
Cynthia, Anne and I have work to do right here. We have discussed this
thoroughly. I believe that the anti-bigamy statutes in this country were
instigated years ago by politicians who used the hatred they unleashed
to get themselves elected. I believe that Challenge would be denying its
validity and its right to existence regardless of money, if it failed to
contest the law. I've told you that I am not proselytizing for bigamy any
more than I am for monogamy. In the area of marriage patterns, I believe
that the only responsibility of the government is to insist on the kind
of marriages and families that will contribute to the perpetuation of
society. In the case of my marriage to Anne and Cynthia society has this
assurance. Beyond this, society should not interfere."
While Cynthia could agree, she couldn't allay the fear that she might lose
Yale. Worse, she had no confidence that Yale would be able to force society
to conform to his views.
Judge Small entered the courtroom from his chambers and the clerk called
the court to order. Ralph Baker, realizing the publicity value of the
trial, was prosecuting the case himself. Looking smug and righteous
as he made his opening remarks, Baker dramatically let his eyes rove
the courtroom.
Then he turned to the jury. "Bigamy or polygamy is the name given to
the crime of unlawful cohabitation with two or more wives," he said,
emphasizing each word. "Seventy-five years ago this country was plagued
by a group of egomaniacs who insisted that plural marriage, the taking of
many wives, was a divine command of their religion. In defense of their
beliefs, some of these misguided men went so far as to try to prove that
Jesus himself was a polygamist and Martha and Mary Magdalene were his
wives. . . ." Baker smiled at the gasp of disgust that he had evoked from
the courtroom. He continued: "To prevent the growth of this pernicious
doctrine our fathers in their great wisdom agreed with these people
that they had the right under the First Amendment to the Constitution
to establish a religion. However, when they invoked the First Amendment
to the Constitution to protect their right to enslave women and destroy
the morals of the state, then our fathers, in their great wisdom, denied
that this Constitution would permit a foul doctrine of this kind to sap
the roots of the state itself.
"Polygamy is a heinous crime. In the words of John C. Bennett who in 1842
made a study of life in a polygamous society, polygamists are guilty
of infidelity, deism, atheism; lying, deception, blasphemy; debauchery,
lasciviousness, bestiality; madness, fraud, plunder; larceny, burglary,
robbery, perjury; fornication, adultery, rape, incest; arson, treason
and murder. . . ." Baker whipped the words like lashes at the jury who
stared at him in horror, then he continued in a softer voice. "In 1882,
aware that polygamy must be stamped out in this Christian country,
the Congress of the United States clarified the issue for once and all
with the Edmunds-Tucker Act which has since become the law of the land,
and is the law upon which our own state statutes against bigamy and
polygamy are based. Not only is polygamy clearly defined as a crime in
the Edmunds-Tucker law but the law in its insistence on eliminating this
crime from the land takes away the right to vote of the polygamist thus
disenfranchising him as a citizen. The law also permits the husband or
wives in a polygamous marriage to be called to the witness stand and,
if they wish, they may testify against each other.
"Today," Baker continued, "we have before us a problem even more
dangerous to the welfare of the state than this now repudiated belief
in polygamy. More dangerous because the beliefs of the defendant as
espoused in that blasphemous book,
Spoken in My Manner
, do not even
have the face-saving grace of divine inspiration. We have before us
a young man who thinks, because of his ill-gotten wealth and a future
inheritance from a befuddled old woman, that he can defy the laws of
this state. This man has the same kind of awe-inspiring ego complex that
motivated men like Hitler and Mussolini; the kind of man who feels that
he is some god who can make other men conform to his insane philosophies.
"We have before us a man who brazenly admits that he has contracted
a bigamous marriage, and has the effrontery, despite the evidence,
to plead not guilty." Baker's voice cracked with anger. "He pleads not
guilty while in the front row of this courtroom are two women whom we
will in the next few moments prove to you incontestably are living with
him in this county at a place well known to all of us, that they have
now chosen to call Challenge Farm. Before I call the first witness and
bring this travesty of a trial to a conclusion as quickly as possible,
I feel that it is instructive for us to consider what kind of man we are
dealing with." Baker picked up a copy of
Spoken in My Manner
. "Here is
what the defendant has the temerity to call the Ninth Commandment of this
godless religion called Challenge.
Baker read slowly. "Challenge believes that its beliefs are so honestly
right for today's civilization that if men everywhere would accept them
and teach them to their children for several generations . . . eventually
a crusade would result that would drive tyranny and oppression and hatred
and war from the earth."
Baker slammed the book shut. "This is the militant article of faith of
a man who is intent on destroying our churches, making a joke of our
marriage laws, and corrupting the very family system that has carried the
Western nations of this world a rung higher up the ladder of civilization
than our poor, benighted neighbors who live in slavery in societies that
permit bigamy and enslavement of women."
A hum of approval spread through the court as Baker spoke. There was
no denying his ability to sway his audience. Anne and Cynthia listened
to him both frightened and disgusted by the half-truths that he stated
so impressively.
Baker was continuing:
"Whatever magic incantation the attorney for the defense has prepared
for you, I know not. It is apparent that all the prosecution has to
accomplish in this case is to prove the cohabitation or bigamous marriage
of Yale Marratt. Since these marriages have been calmly admitted by the
defendant in all his public utterances, we will simply be going through
the motions here today for the official record."
Baker called as his first witness the justice of the peace who had married
Yale and Cynthia. The meek, grey-haired man who had wished them luck
less than a year ago quickly identified Yale and Cynthia. Their marriage
certificate was admitted as evidence. Saul Angle shook his head when
asked if he wished to query the witness.
"As I have pointed out," Baker said, "the law permits, in a case of
this kind, any of the wives to testify against her husband. In calling
the woman Anne Wilson Marratt to the stand, the witness should fully
understand that this is permissive; the law does not insist that she
has to testify."
A hush spread over the courtroom as the spectators craned to see Anne.
Dressed in a pale green sheath that clung to her figure, Anne walked
crisply to the witness stand, her high heels making an incisive staccato
on the wooden floor. She took the oath and sat in the witness chair
looking at Ralph Baker with a frankly querulous expression.
"Since this court has no evidence that a legal marriage has ever taken
place between you and Yale Marratt, perhaps you will enlighten us,
Mrs. Marratt. Were you or Yale Marratt ever married in a civil or
religious wedding ceremony? Before you answer, and before the attorney
for the defense raises any objection I will point out to you again that
your answer will be considered as evidence against the defendant, and
you are not required to answer."
Saul got up and said quietly, "Your honor, Anne Marratt is well acquainted
with what the law does or does not require in this case."
Anne smiled. "I am proud to answer. Yale Marratt and I were married in
a Hindu wedding ceremony by a Hindu priest named Sri Sundari in March of
last year, in the village of Talibazar in Assam province." Anne ignored
the sudden amazed whispering of the spectators. Several reporters edged
toward the door. This was headline stuff within minutes after the trial
had opened.
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