Our Little Mary is Dying, Reverend Essays

610 Words3 Pages
Gledhill knew that Mary was dying. She seemed sure to die before the night was much older. A man of the cloth used to death and grieving might not save Mary but he would be able to soften the family’s grief. Death was a daily experience for parsons and Martin had been well provided with opportunities to serve the dying in the little parish of Holmeside where the Dark Angel was a regular visitor. Gledhill arrived at the imposing residence breathless. Mistress Joanne Martin, the vicar’s wife answered his frantic knock. She was a large woman with ruddy features, a shade acquired, it is told, from continually exhorting her husband to common sense. Gledhill’s presence on the doorstep disconcerted her. Working men rarely came to see the vicar.…show more content…
“You should know not to speak in that manner about your betters. Get away with you. My husband will not attend the likes of you, I can promise you that!”
Gledhill repented of his outburst. Softly, he pleaded, “Will you at least ask him, please?” he clutched his cap in his hands as though squeezing the life out of it.
The woman also relented of her sudden passion. “I’ll ask him,” she said in a weary voice, “but don’t expect anything. He’s no mind to put himself out for the feckless!”
She went inside, and although she was only gone for twenty seconds it seemed like hours to the agitated father. Heeding the summons, Reverend Walter Martin thrust his irritated face through the doorway, swinging the door wide in his anger. He had heard enough of the previous exchange to know that on his doorstep stood a man speaking ill of his benefactor, and that told the divine that Gledhill was not among the elect and neither the church nor its clergy had any obligation to minister to him, whatever misfortune was visited on him or his children. His mind was made up before he spoke to Gledhill, and so he laid a trap to catch the him out so that he could deny him the benefit of his holy office and its ministrations with some sense of what passed for rectitude in his mind.
“Ah, my son. I see you need help. Pray tell me when your child was baptised and where?”
“She has not been baptised.”
“What,
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