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|“||But why? What more could I have offered? I have done all that I promised to do. I was more successful than I could have ever dreamed. Don't you understand? They are all here! I convinced them to come. All of them! I have offered you...everything!'||„|
|~ Zenephi to Spearthrower Owl and Fireborn|
Zenephi is one of the villains who appears in Chris Heimerdinger's Tennis Shoes Adventure Series. He serves as a minor antagonist in Kingdoms and Conquerors and a major antagonist in Sorcerers and Seers. Zenephi is a Chief Judge of the Nephites at the time of the historic battle of Cumorah.
Kingdoms and Conquerors
In the camp of the Nephite army's Fox Division, several attempts are made to murder the captain Joshua Plimpton. Joshua and his associates suspect Zenephi to be the instigator of the attempted murder. They report their suspicions to the general Mormon, who assures them that he will investigate the matter.
Sorcerers and Seers
Midway through the book, Zenephi goes to Mormon to tell him that he was missed at a council meeting the day before. Zenephi insists that the meeting took priority over moving Nephite women and children to safety (which Mormon had been doing at the time of this meeting). Zenephi tells Mormon to turn over his treasures and riches to the Nephite council. Mormon refuses to do this, as he knows Zenephi wants the Gold Plates, and he cannot turn them over. Mormon explains that he does not have the Gold Plates, as he sent them with Joshua Plimpton, and they were stolen by Akish. Zenephi brushes this off as a lie and states that he has heard Joshua has exhibited cowardice and desertion. Mormon tells Zenephi that these are merely rumors, and if Zenephi no longer wants him on the council, he can leave. Zenephi's fellow councilmen decline this offer, expressing their appreciation for Mormon preparing their armies for battle against the Lamanites. Zenephi reluctantly leaves.
Later, Zenephi goes with Mormon, Moroni, Gilgal, Harry Hawkins, Garth Plimpton, Apollus, Gidgiddonihah, and the other high-ranking Nephite commanders to a meeting with the Lamanite officials. The assembled Nephite leaders meet with Spearthrower Owl, Fireborn, and Lamanai to discuss a treaty between the Nephites and Lamanites. Fireborn blatantly rejects their peace offerings, saying that the Lamanites and Mayans have assembled at Cumorah to annihilate the Nephites.
Zenephi asks why Spearthrower Owl and Fireborn are holding this meeting if they don't intend to sign any treaties. Fireborn, speaking on behalf of Spearthrower Owl, explains that the Lamanites want to make an offer: if the Nephite commanders present surrender their lives, then the Nephite women and children will be allowed to live as slaves of the Lamanites. A few of the Nephite commanders, including Mormon and Moroni, step forward to indicate that they accept. Spearthrower Owl is satisfied with their response, but Zenephi is not. He claims that he is the Nephites' Chief Judge, and he can speak for all of them. He requests a private meeting with Fireborn and Spearthrower Owl, but Fireborn shoots him down. Zenephi reveals that he had been the one who instigated this meeting so he could sell out the Nephite commanders and save his own skin. Fireborn, unmoved, rejects Zenephi and orders him and his companions to leave.
As the Nephite commanders are leaving, Mormon declares to his comrades that he intends to punish Zenephi for his treason. Many of the Nephite captains, however, ignore Mormon's words and surround Zenephi. One warrior shoots an arrow and kills Zenephi. About twenty of the Nephites attack Zenephi's body, with Gilgal tearing off Zenephi's scalp as a spoil of war. A Nephite captain named Jeneum suggests accosting Zenephi's associates as well, but Moroni breaks up the violence.