Chapter 13; In Which Samuel Decides to Consult an Expert on Demons and Hell, but Doesn’t Get Anywhere
Um, cue a small history lesson regarding the Church of St. Timidus, Bishop Bernard the Bad and a guy named Timidus who tried exceedingly hard to not commit any sins whatsoever. Why? Well, the author reckons it’s all valid information.
Why all that is so important we shall discover later.
Okay, it must important to the story otherwise Mr. Connelly wouldn’t have mentioned it in the first place.
We are introduced to Reverend Ussher (vicar) and Mr. Berkeley (verger) of the Church of St. Timidus.
Mr. Berkeley saw Samuel approaching and nudged the vicar.
“Look out, Vicar,” he said, “it’s that strange Johnson boy.”
The vicar looked alarmed. Samuel Johnson was only eleven years old, but he sometimes asked the kinds of questions that would challenge elderly philosophers.
I can only say good for Samuel to that quote. It seems the intrepid eleven year old has also been asking the vicar about angels and pins, like he did with his teacher.
Now, if I were in Samuel’s situation, I don’t think I would have regarded the local vicar as an expert in demonology. But then again, by the time I was Samuel’s age, I had already seen quite a few horror movies and so I was well versed in the do’s and don’ts of monster and demon hunting. Rule number one being; run away if you can. On the other hand, Samuel does appear to be rather too smart for the average eleven year old, judging from the aforementioned “angels and pins” discussions he’s had.
And now I’m smiling rather stupidly. It seems the Vicar underestimated Samuel’s power to confuse, and that Reverend Ussher could become confused so quickly by such a small child. This is me smiling quite broadly > 😀 A rather silly looking smile it is too. Who knew I could be so easily amused by such a short paragraph. Yay me! and hoorah for the author!
The verger, on the other hand, is not so easily amused, Samuel even reckons the guy scowls during Christmas. Not the kind of of expression one would expect around a church on such a Holy & celebratory event.
So Samuel didn’t find any answers there, I wasn’t surprised really. Most of the clergy I’ve come into contact with seem very unconvinced about Hell in general, must be the times we’re living in. Fire and damnation just don’t sell like they did a few centuries ago.
Heck, I didn’t realise not-Mrs. Abernathy was waiting in the wings. With threats and poisoned words rolling out of her like sweating out a heavy fever. The young hero is very brave though, even manages to get from under her sway AND manages to bait her a bit.
But if I choose, I can ensure instead that you never sleep again, and that every moment of your wretched existence is spent in searing agony, gasping for breath and begging for the pain to stop!”
“It sounds like gym class,” said Samuel, with considerable feeling. He was happy that his voice didn’t tremble. It made him appear braver than he was.
Mrs. Johnson still hasn’t figured out why she dislikes not-Mrs. Abernathy. I’m still hoping that she will remember in time to be of help though.
Maybe Samuel’s right, maybe his friends will help. Even if they do laugh at him for being Samuel, surely they already know what a smart, if unusual, boy he his. Sometimes you’ve just got to take a deep breath and reach out.