“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.
There was a long silence on the end of the line. In broken English, the cardinal said, “I am confused. I know of no ‘Third Order’, or any ‘master of formation’… how did you get this number?”
Clance fell silent for a moment. “Yo…Your Eminence, I am calling about the relic. You know, the relic of St. Francis? We spoke of it not two weeks ago.”
Again, there was a long silence. “Sir, you called this number and discussed a holy relic?”
“Yes, Your Eminence. We usually speak at 3 PM Greenwich time, but I felt that we needed to speak about my concern. Do you not remember?”
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