Clance was getting worried – he hadn’t heard from Jack in several days.
Very unlike him. He said he knew where the relic was.
Clance paced back and forth. He stopped asa statue of the Virgin Mary caught his eye.
“Hail Mary, Full of grace, the Lord is with thee,” he started in a monotone voice as he stared at the statue. He finished the prayer mechanically, by rote, and immediately continued with his prior line of thought.
“I need to find the amulet,” he said out loud to the room. “His eminence is not pleased. I will be replaced. What will I do if I lose master of formation? I have been so faithful! This is not fair! Jack needs to bring me the relic soon!”
Clance went to the phone and called Jack’s line, which went straight to voicemail. Again. Just like the six times Clance had already called. He became even more agitated.
“What if he is hurt?” Clance again spoke to the empty room. “What if he’s been caught? What if… What if he has given up? What if he has the relic and wants to become master of formation? What if he’s already called his eminence?” Clance had worked himself into a near frenzy, and he began pacing furiously, back and forth. He suddenly bolted to the door, flung it open, and headed to a kneeling bench in front of a statue of the crucified Christ. He threw himself down on the bench, crossed himself very quickly and started furiously praying. He kept at it for a good half hour, and then just as quickly got up and went to the phone. He dialed the number he had been given for his eminence. It was not an appointed call, there was no call scheduled: Clance decided that this was just too important.
“Dio sia con te,” said an unfamiliar voice at the other end. “Questo è il Cardinale Santiago.”
“Your Eminence, this is Clance, the master of formation of the Third Order. I am sorry to bother you unannounced, but I have a concern of the highest order,” said Clance, as humbly as he could muster.
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