Sunday, July 17, 2011

Murphy: The Early Years (Part IX)

This cheerful visit having somehow failed of its intended effect, the institution finally, and reluctantly, went for “the strong stuff”, and invited a priest.
He was a small man, with apple cheeks. And a strawberry nose; and ruby lips. -- Not nearly so distant as his Protesting predecessors, he seemed to feel a real and genuine rapport with the boys. Well -- with some of the boys.
He spoke, in a general way, of -- this and that. All the while scanning the room.
And his words, indeed, though not memorable, were at least, by the echoes of tradition that still lingered in them -- said, whether or not meant -- still somehow encouraging: and some of the boys leaned forward; and some, their lips did part.
These, the priest noted particularly. As did he the auburn curls; the well-turned calf; or the dim-filmy-glittery eye…
You; and you; and you. “Come see me; by all means, drop by and see me; in my private quarters. Stay as long as you like. Discretion assured …”

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