3.3 Ignacz the Missionary

McCarter and Ignacz discovered together: Old Vieux near the docks; Jacques Cartier Square; Peel Street; the souls of soldiers and tailors ready to receive Christ. Ignacz improved his English and French while clearing Hebrews for Heaven in Griffintown. The Lord has armed them with flyers, demon traps in prayer groups, scheduled many evenings. McCarter guided, but also was awed by the courage of the boy from Budapest. Depending on the audience he was Trebitsch or Timotheus, as baptised. McCarter called him TImothy. He spoke in tongues: Yiddish and Hungarian, to anyone: Polish, Lithuanian, Irish and Ukranian. The street grew quiet.

“Reverend McCarter, it has been so busy,” said Ignacz with hurry.  “I have contained my excitement. The telegram arrived from Captain Kahlor. He agrees and has booked her passage to Montreal. I would like to ask you to do the honour of marrying us.”

A smile spread over the Reverend’s face. He nodded agreeably and took his apprentice’s hand warmly. The moment didn’t last.

“Mind your own business! Pair of demons!”

“Steady now,” said his friend, older, adorned in caftan robe. “Why do you come here to take good men from God’s path?”

Ignacz rounded on the two Jews. “It is only through Christ a man may know the Lord…”

“You’ve been told before.”

“And be absolved of sins, such as anger,” said Ignacz.

“The Tankah clearly states we are God’s chosen people,” said Caftan man.

“Yes,” said McCarter. “But have you heard? The good news is that you’re not alone. God sent his only son—“

“Have I heard? I’ve been hearing it all my half century! It’s hardly news!”

 

The bridal chorus from Lohengrin stirred Ignacz. His eyes seemed to pop from his face, into the baptismal font. McCarter looked out beyond the empty pews. Ignacz was fine with the privacy, he’d said. Margarethe was a small woman, moving cautiously in a white dress too big. Her left eye glanced subtly at it, he right was locked into moving forward. Her tiny mouse face met Ignacz’s mad grin at the altar.

“We are called here today in sight of the Lord to marry these two people…”

McCarter’s words were all a jumble. He would have known how to speak to people on the boat to New York. Margarethe didn’t even understand Ignacz Trebitsch sometimes. She’d lived in Hamburg all her life.  Ignateus Timotheus Trebitsch. Margarethe, not Kahlor, Trebitsch and Julius too. His employer was Scottish. So many languages.

“Margarethe,” said McCarter again.

Ignacz broke his silence. “Margarethe, say ‘I do’.”

“I do?” she said.

McCarter pronounced them man and wife.

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries or bonus art.

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