The Cure of Ste. Agatha was agitated. He plainly wanted to speak but choked back twice. Then he rose and looked at his friend with a face as red as fire, and started toward the gate. He took two steps, came back, and spoke rapidly. “Do you think the Sisters will bring it back, the valise? Mon Dieu! It was mine.”
Ten miles from St. Eustace and thirteen miles from Ste. Agatha a Yankee tramp was hurrying toward the parish of Ste. Catherine. He had the money for one pick and one shovel in his pocket keeping company with one note from the purse of the generous Cure of St. Eustace and one of a much larger denomination, from the wise but hard-hearted Cure of Ste. Agatha, who never gave to tramps.
And this is the lesson of the story as the Cure of St. Eustace saw it: that some gloomy and worried millionaires are lost to the States, to make a few irresponsible but happy rascals who live by their wits, and whose sins even are amusing. One must not blame them overmuch.
As to the Cure of Ste. Agatha. He has no opinions on the matter at all, for the Sisters gave him back his new valise.
If you knew Father Tom Connolly, you would like him, because—well, just because Father Tom Connolly was one of the kind whom everybody liked. He had curly black hair, over an open and smiling face; he was big, but not too big, and he looked the priest, the soggarth aroon kind, you know, so that you just felt that if you ever did get into difficulties, Father Tom Connolly would be the first man for you to talk it all over with. But Father Tom had a large parish, in a good-sized country town, to look after; and so, while you thought that you might monopolize all of his sympathy in your bit of possible trouble, he had hundreds whose troubles had already materialized, and was waiting for yours with a wealth of experience which would only make his smile deeper and his grasp heartier when the task of consoling you came to his door and heart.
Now, there lived in the same town as Father Tom another priest of quite a different make. He, too, had a Christian name. It was Peter; but no one ever called him Father Peter. Every one addressed him as Father Ilwin. Somehow this designation alone fitted him. It was not that this other priest was unkind—not at all—but it was just that in Father Tom’s town he did not quite fit.
Father Ilwin had been sent by the Bishop to build a new church, and that on a slice of Father Tom’s territory, which the Bishop lopped off to form a new parish. Father Ilwin was young. He had no rich brogue on his tongue to charm you into looking at his coat in expectation of seeing his big heart burst out to welcome you. He was thoughtful-looking and shy, so he did not get on well and his new church building grew very slowly.