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The Hole in the Wall.Part Two.

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  • The Hole in the Wall.Part Two.

    He drew Sims back into the chancery till Tom was far enough back to be out of earshot.
    “A tomb Mr. Sims and nothing else as far as I can see”.
    “Well there’s a thing”.
    “Look, I would rather this is kept quiet for the time being, I know I can rely on you but of course there’s Tom”
    “Don’t you worry sir; I’ll tell him it’s empty”.He smiled. “Can’t have the reverent telling lies can we sir”.

    Back in the rectory Lydia was waiting.

    “A tomb, how exciting”.
    “No darling, it’s a damn nuisance. The work will be delayed for I don’t know how long.
    Harvest Festival will be upon us in two weeks and I doubt if Sims can keep that boy quiet for more that a day or two”.
    “Sorry David, yes I can see that it is an inconvenience”.
    Hatfield smiled gave his wife a light kiss on her cheek and opened the study door.
    “I’ll phone the bishop and put the ball in his court”.

    “A tomb you say, how interesting and a feather in your cap my boy”.
    “The problem is Your Grace what do I do about it?”.
    “Hmm. Have you established who he is?”.
    “No, there was barely enough room to put my head in the hole”.
    “I see. Well I better come over, will tomorrow be convenient?”.
    “Of course your Grace, it will lift a load from my shoulders”.
    “Ten thirty then, Oh, and have that man of yours standing by, we will have to open up the rest of the wall”.

    The bishop arrived prompt the next morning. After the preamble of greetings he was anxious to get to the church.
    “I have taken the liberty of asking Sims to dismantle the rest of the wall Your Grace.
    The dust should be almost cleared away by now”.
    “Very good my boy, it will save us time”.
    Sims had demolished two thirds of the wall and supported the ceiling with builder’s jacks.
    “My, that was quick work Mr. Sims” said Hatfield.
    “Almost fell down by it self sir. I reckon that it was put up in a hurry”
    “Very likely” agreed the bishop, "and at night too I suspect”.

    Together they approached the tomb. Flakes of medieval paint still clung here and there to the reclining figure.
    The bishop bent low to examine the engraved lettering at the base.
    “Ah, half is missing, broken of in transit I imagine, as for the rest—
    I wonder Hatfield if you would be so kind, my eyes are not what they used to be”.
    The young vicar brushed away the dust of ages.
    “It’s so eroded Your Grace, the first letter is A, then I think, yes a P and-.
    “S, tell me it is an S my boy” cried the bishop.
    “S and E”.
    “God be praised, you have found the tomb of Saint Apselm”
    “I have?”.
    “Saint Apselm of Tucsbury, What do they teach you young men in Theology College these days?
    It was long thought that his tomb suffered the same fate as Becket’s, destroyed by Henry’s vandals,
    and yet here it is. It would be so wonderful if Saint Apselm could be restored to his home at Tucsbury
    but as he was found in your church, Hatfield, it is your choice”.
    “No, Your Grace you are right, after all Frensham was in truth was only his temporary home,
    and frankly I would be glad to see the back of him, if that’s not too disrespectful?”
    The bishop grinned. “Bless you my son”

    Later, Hatfield escorted the bishop to his chauffeured Mercedes.

    “I’ll be it touch in a few days when I’ve completed the arrangements. There maybe a few difficulties with the Romans,
    but as they say, possession is nine points of the law”.

    “Romans?”
    “The Catholic Church my boy, surely you know that all England was Catholic in the twelfth century?”.
    “Ah, of course Your Grace, forgive me it’s been a hectic morning”.

    Over dinner that night the conversation was centered around the events of the day.
    “It was good of the bishop to find a solution for you dear” said Lydia.
    Hatfield grinned.
    “Yes, and a solution to his own liking I suspect, you forget darling, Tucsbury is his home and also the home of the diocese.
    I wonder when Apselm has been restored there, whether his Grace will be so anxious to keep the discovery quiet.
    On the contrary I guess he will ring the bells and sing it from the housetops”.

    Lydia cleared the dinner plates and brought over the sweet from the side table
    “Never mind dear, it has solved your problem. I have been reading up on old Apselm”
    Did you know he was a centre for pilgrimage? Apparently he was reputed to heal the sick.

    “Together with casting out the devil, sniffing out witches and the rest of the mumbo jumbo
    .Lydia,it was convenient for the church and monasteries in those times to have a miracle worker.
    In those days;the spin off in bogus religious relics was a welcome addition to the coffers.
    If you believed all those fragments of the true cross were legitimate,
    Our Lord must have been crucified on a cross eighty foot high”
    “Ooops” smiled Lydia. “You’re on your hobby horse darling”.
    Hatfield returned her smile.
    “It’s just that it is hard enough job dragging the church into the twenty first century from the last without having to extend that by five hundred years”.
    Lydia stood up from the table.
    I’ll clear the things away and go up. Will you be long?”.
    “I have to finish Sunday’s sermon. The theme is ‘All that Glitters is not Gold”.
    “May the Lord forgive you” laughed Lydia “and don’t be too long, it’s nearly midnight”.

    Hatfield finished the sermon with a flourish, or at least the best he could manage on a keyboard.
    He was satisfied with the piece, brief and a few added jokes.
    He yawned, stretched, rose and walked to the leaded window.
    Frensham slept under the September moon, a night wind was stirring the high elms.
    He turned his head to the church and frowned.
    Could he be mistaken? No, the light in the east window flickered again.
    There was no mistake someone was in the church.
    .
    Author's Note.
    Soon after the Canterbury bishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170.
    his tomb became a shrine and miraculous miracles it was rumored began to happen.
    Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is about the pilgrims travels along the Pilgrims Way from London to Canterbury.
    Henry VIII in 1530, after falling out with the pope set about installing the Church Of England and begun to destroy
    the Catholic churches, monasteries and shrines.
    Last edited by Cari; 08-20-2019, 09:10 AM.

  • #2
    Finding this interesting. Very!

    Comment


    • Cari
      Cari commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, glad you enjoyed. My first love is for short stories and I enjoy researching to make the time period in which they are set as accurate as I can. I will post the ending over the weekend.
      Regards
      John.
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