Pray the Lord

  Reverend Paul Patterson drove to Mrs. Wilson's home. A recent widow, Mrs. Janice  Wilson was a member of his congregation and always attended mass, previously with her husband, recently found dead in a nearby wood, one bullet hole in the skull. Shot from the front, not the back. So, as per the detectives, something rather personal.  That Mrs, Janet Wilson was a beautiful brunette in her young forties just like him may also have propelled him to go present his condolences and offer a bit of solace.  
   She was glad of the support, offered coffee and delicacies while he spoke softly and at one point placed his hand on hers and pressed gently. Tears of appreciation filled her hazelnut eyes. Upon leaving he tought about holding her tight but dimissed the idea.  Too daring, too soon.  
   The reverend was a somewhat recent arrival in this parish, some slight trouble having cause a discreet departure from his previous posting.  
Back at St Anselm, and after a copius repast of lamb and vegetables combined with the appropriate sauces, he went to his office and put the latest touch to his sermon for the next office. Charity was the theme, Luke 6:38 ''give, and it will be given to you.........''  as the starting point.  
   As he had a few hours of free time before him, he changed  to civilian clothes and headed for his favorite casino in a nearby town,  Win some, lose some but when in need he also did not hesitate to very discreetly dip his hands in church funds, The past month had been somewhat difficult.  This would change soon, he was certain,  
   Things did not.  He lost another thousand,  
    As he got back to his car and ready to open the door, a fellow approached him.  
   ''Where's my five grand? Hey, five before an  five after, that was the deal''.  
   ''Yes, I know, I will have for you tomorrow, for sure..  
   ''You'd better.......I also know people who are good with a baseball bat.''  
   It is covered with sweat that he drove back to the presbitary.  He'd counted on his luck at the casino, now he'd have to dip in the church's funds again.  
  But his troubles were just starting. As he parked his car in the usual spot, a fellow got out of his own vehicle and approached him.  
   ''Reverend Patterson? I am detective Ryan.  May I have a word?  
   That could not be avoided and the reverend  preceeded him to his office.  
   "Reverend, a man by the name of Jeffrey Wilson was found dead in Treptow Parc two days ago. One shot to the head''  
   ''Yes, I heard about the terrible event.  I went to visit the appreaved widow in support.''  
   ''Mr Wilson worked for your chuch, did he not?''  
   ''Yes,  he did the accounting''.  
   ''Anything unusual in his work, any changes in his attitude, did he look worried ?''  
   ''No sir, nothing special.  I did not know that he had enemies. Gee. a normal man, married, quiet life in the suburb...''  
    ''Well, I thank you for your time, reverend.  If you can think of anything, let me know'', he gave him his card and left. Walking to his car though, he mused. He was used to observing body language and the reverend looked to him to be very nervous.  
   Back at the station, he was able to get lists of the reverend's recent phone calls, Many to a man named Tony Barguetta, a small time hood with a record of thefts and drug dealings.  Detective Ryan and his partner Lucy McGraw had not much difficulties finding him in his regular haunt, The Keg. A small man in stature, he claimed not to know what the detectives were talking about, but confronted with the evidence, he spilled the beans.  
   It is as the reverend was about to dress in his official garbs to serve mass that he was charged, handcuffed and brought tothe station in shame.  
Written by robert43041 (Viking)
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