5.2 Tea with the Archbishop

“Yeah. Go on!”

Driver lashed stoking horse-hide: glop, gallop; clopping across Rue Lagaucetiere. Wind streaming the Archbishop’s cloak. Bond knock-knocked, the blue paint not worn:  no answer. Again the late Autumn breeze wafting white beard, he knock-knocked. Swarthy skin and black haired Jozsef answered.

“Yes. Hello?”

“Hello. I’m looking for the Deacon,” said Bond.

“Huh?” said Jozsef.

“Decon Trebitsch.”

“He’s not here.”

“Ah. Is Margarethe around?”

The lad brought Bond in out of the trees, closed the door on their shifting shades.

“Come this way,” he said, and they stepped up by the banister.

“I don’t believe we’ve met,” said Bond.

“My name’s Jozsef, Ign—Timothy’s brother, visiting…from out of town.”

“Oh, well. Welcome to Montreal, Joseph,” said Bond.

The door to the parlour opened and a toddler ran at them, missing intended Jozsef, embracing Bond’s cloak and taking a swim in it. Bond patted his head.

“Julius, come here,” said the old woman, German accent.

Margarethe, ran to the boy and scooped him up, despite the lack of flesh on her body. Her dress, bland brown, had a low neck-line. Her face sculpted in granite. “I’m sorry, Archbishop.”

“Quite alright. Unless, maybe I’m intruding?”

“No, sir. This is my mother, of Hamburg, and Jozsef…”

Mrs. Kahlor was impressed and fixed Bond with a full course of questions. Polite, she was but the cleric wanted to know about Timothy, who was out of town. He was concerned about Margarethe.

“Recovering,” she said, presenting tea and biscuits.

Mrs Kahlor drew him out on his time as a missionary to the Indians and the stories of Kate, Margarethe’s sister. Was he coping with the switch from Eastern to Atlantic time? Wasn’t the new Canadian Pacific Railway useful?

“A terrible business at that school in Altona: the Lord punish Henry Toews,” she said.

When young Julius swam in Bond’s robes it brought a pause to her witterings. Jozsef, who had hardly had chance for a word announced suddenly he’d come from South Africa. It was pure chance he’d run into his brother in Montreal.

“You must pass on my hearty congratulations,” said Bond. “He’ll achieve great things. In fact, I’d not be the least surprised to see him step into my shoes.”

“The next Archbishop of Montreal?” said Mrs. Kahlor. “Oh my, did you hear that! Margarethe, can you imagine it? Wait until Kate hears. Such a thing!”

 

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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