Crossfire

Visitors from Rome and An Offer Accepted

The Journal of Father Eric Brooks

Wednesday, October 20, 1875

I have decided to accept the chaplain’s position at the Explorer’s Society – access to their private library more than makes up for the added responsibilities of the post.

As I left St Mary’s, I was passed by two large, swarthy men on their way into the rectory. They greeted me with a quiet “bongiorno”, but otherwise took no notice of me. Both were in dark – and almost new – suits, with likewise-new shoes, belts and guns. I seem to recall similar-looking gentlemen during the business with Danika healing Pastor Hook. Once they went into the rectory, I circled back around and entered the parlor.

Father St Beuve’s door – open when I left – was now closed, and I could hear talking on the other side. I crept up to listen, and though my Italian is nearly non-existent, I was able to make out a couple snatches of the conversation:

…Swiss Guard, landed in Seattle last May…
…concerned with some rumors about St Mary’s…
…represent the Holy See, appointed from the Dominican Order, led by Cardinal Giacomete…

Unfortunately, I was unable to come up with anything more – Mrs Johansen chose that moment to knock on St Beuve’s door. I stammered an excuse about checking with St Beuve to see if he needed anything from town, and left.

Upon arriving at the Explorer’s Society, I found Mr Krylova was busy for the day, but would be available around dinner time. While I waited, I asked the butler to let members and staff know I was available for confession, should they wish. He showed me to the chapel and the cabinet where they keep the sacraments. By the time I had prepared, a few maids had showed up with their children. I took the ladies’ confessions and said a blessing over the children – taking my time to work away the afternoon until Mr Krylova was available.

I took dinner with Mr Krylova, and informed him of my wish to join the Society. After an evening of celebration (largely on his part), I retired and began my new duties the very next day.

After leading a morning mass, I took to the library to see if I could find anything about demonic possession. There were a few stories to be found – a lot of hearsay, some situations where an exorcist was called in. There were stories of “voodoo” priests (I use the term loosely) who were able to – depending on the tale – either inflict or lift a curse of possession. Some even allowed their loa “gods” to take them over voluntarily!

Perhaps that is where I need to look next – within a culture that accepts possession as a fact, rather than deny it’s existence. This leaves me with a couple of problems however… Voodoo, while prevalent in Mississippi and Louisiana, isn’t terribly common here in Denver. And with agents of Rome in town, now may not be the best time for a Catholic priest to be looking for help from some fringe cult.

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rma1979

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