The Patron Saint of Children

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Synopsis

The priest turned his back on the old man so he wouldn’t notice if his fingers shook while pouring. He would have poured himself a drink before the impromptu meeting, to steady his nerves, but he knew he’d be driving that night, so he had reluctantly abstained. When he sat down, a sigh escaped the priest’s lips.

“I assume you know why I asked to see you,” said the bishop, his long wiry eyebrows knitting in an accusing way. His raptorial eyes were unblinking.

“Yes, Your Excellency,” Father Sanderson said. “It is unfortunate.”

“Unfortunate, indeed,” said Bishop Francis. “This report could be a significant problem for Stuart Hall.”

"Yes," agreed the priest and took a shaky sip of his sherry. Despite the clear crimson liquid on his tongue, his mouth remained dry.

“I’m going to have to ask you a few questions.”

“Of course,” said Father Sanderson. Suddenly impatient with his trembling hands, he threw the rest of his sherry down his throat and was glad to be rid of the glass. His foot was still vibrating.

“As you know, Sister Agnes had a complaint from one of the boys.”

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