The American. (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899, March 15, 1895, Page 3, Image 3

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    IN THE
Clutch of Rome.
CIIAl'TKU XI Continued.
The troubled priest tank la k
in h
chair with his face buried in hi hiuid
and a flood of pious memories of his
motm-ru aim cis own i;;.- tame over
hitn. His grace rerutmd lis stall
lore me wniing d sir. ana hi; words
foil like cold, cutting hail after a
'"St. John, you are too great a criminal
to be tried in my court. True, I might
take you freu: your prit stly ofliif, ard
with the flanilng sword of my authority
drive you forth from your church as
did the angel of the Lord drive from
Paradise the tirt-t great rebels. Ob,
why did you study for and take ujion
yourself your priestly vows to love and
cherish, abote all other consideration?,
the holy mother church, to live for her
and her only, to work for her while your
life last.-; if needs bo, to die for her; to
do what, to the eyes of the unitiated
might appear as evil, for her good and
welfare? Surely, these duties and falre
scruples of yours did not spring Into in
Btantaneous life."
"Most revereud sir," said Fabio, with
face still bowed, "they were begotten
and born in your red reception room
upstairs. Yourself and Fathe r Fairfax
are responsible for their troublesome
existence. But believe me, I will, if in
my power, and with the help of the
virgin (crossing himself) and all the
Heavenly powers, strangle thein in
their infancy."
Archbishop O'Conor regarded the
sorrowful attitude of the youthful
priest before him, and his eyes lost a
shade of their metallic luster. Perhaps
the ghosts of long-silenced doubts that
had lived in his own sympathetic and
ardent youth appeared to him the
spring-time of his religious faith, when
he, too, as the young priest before him,
could still hold the church, with her
temples of stone, her jewels, marble
altars, gorgeous robes, vessels of gold
and silver-plate, waxen candles, and all
the pomp of worship, separate from his
Vaguely the ecclesiastic remembered
his earlier and purer love for this in
satiate, voluptuous Hydra. Verily, the
centuries have given birth to a third
daughter of the horse leach, and she
ever cries, "Give, give."
But the prelate had grown to love
this luxurious rival of the Master. He
arose from his scat resolved to push
this wavering atom into the mass".
Feeling satistiid that in time it would
merge into and become one with the
grand and brilliant whole.
"Forgive me, my dear young friend,
if in my zeal and loyalty to the cause, I
have spoken harshly. Go to your home.
Unlock the temple of the Lord which
His augubt 'command has given unto
you to keep holy. Kneel before the
sacred altar and throw open to Him the
dark recesses of your h art. Bd as
sured, that He will find the darkness
with His holy light and all the wretched
monsters who live and revel in that
darkness, will 11 e." And he held out
his firm white band. Fabio took the
offered hand, over which the velvet
glove had again been drawn, but there
was no waim, forgiving clasp; simply
the deferential, faint pressure due his
superior and Jhost on taking his de
parturej from his house. Then, with a
coldly polite "good-night, jour grace,"
Father , Fabio went out into the night.
The archbishop increased the light
of the reading lamp and passed in re
view the book-lined sides of the lonp
room, in .search of some botk to read
away the hours till he had a mind to
sleep, c He glanced listlessly over the
labored works of theologians and rows
of sober brown volumes whose enfolded
pages discoursed cold, scientific sub
jects. Books of travel and biography
met with noJTgreater favor. At last he
paused before a case of folios, whose
rich red and gold exteriors, like the
heavy-lidded eyes and scarlet lips of a
woman of pleasure, cave promise of
yielding a fascinating, unprofitable and
too often cloying sweetness. His grace
selected a;Volume of Anacreon poetry
and tossed the breviary aside to give it
place on the table. Then, unlocking a
cabinet, he took from one of its com
partments a bottle and a glass. Filling
the glass with a portion of the amber
hued fluid which the bottle held, he
carried it carefully to the table and
placed it beside the book. The sound
of distant foot-steps broke the silence.
He hastened to the cabinet, re-locked
it, and stepped quickly to the closed
door to listen. The foot-steps died
Thank Heaven he was not disturbed
the priests attached to the cathedral
opposite were going to their rooms.
Throwing himself at full length upon
the couch, and with his senses luLer.
into accord with the voluptuous theme
of the poet by occasional slow sips of
the fragrant wine the one thing made
by man which old time has made a
favored darling of ArcabishopO'Conor
read away the early hours of the night,
and Father St. John, the young son of
the church who would ask troublesome
questions, walked rapidly to his home,
and exchanged his street attire for a
black rot', unlocked a mmall door la
the rt nr of the t'luirch: entering, he
f-l' in J the dr McMvly and lit a
Uj er on ti e aHarofMary. Prostrat
ing hin.H-H on tht cold, dished flour,
he prayed in anguish of heart, even a
t!ie Son of the real Mary prayed, when
Hj aked: "If MclMt, let this cup
pass ftom roe."
Man cnm'd the church, clothed her
in sarlet and j'eis, and exalted her
aliove all things Her prioti are sworn
to sacrifice life, and what the uniting
would in their blind ne- deem a sar
rice of honor, if need 1 and she de
mamleJ it. Father FaMo inu-t drink
of the cup. The midnight i-liUiiess
the church i broken by the heavy
gapping sobs of mental anguish from
the blaek-roK d hure pros; rate In-fore
the altar i f Mary. For one hour, Fabio
St. John prayed to God the Father,
God the Son, and God the Holy Gh.i
and the virgin and all the saints
give him spiritual strength to do the
right; prayed that the bright sun of
faith might burst through the clouds of
doubt that hung over him.
At length he arose, crossed hiinsel!
and knelt a few minutes before the high
altar, the sacred altar where ho had
celebrated the sacrifice of the mass.
and in his religious ecstasy, had been
unconscious of his material body, and
had communed in spirit with the saints
in glory.
Tonight, as he prayed, something c
this feeling had come to bim, and he
felt the presence of the "Lord in His
Holy Temple;" yes, thechurch was the
stronghold of the Lord, the fold where
the sheep of the Master were to bt
tended and fed till He demanded them
And should he, a trusted shepherd,
throw down the crook and say:
I will not reclaim this sheep who
has strayed from the fold, because she
has found rest in a beautiful valley, ar.d
the wolf may not disturb her at night
fall. And in my endeavor to bring her
back, I shall surely tear her delicate
fleece and perhaps wound her tender
body. No; he had pledged himself t
shepherd of the Lord, and when He de
mauded of him His flock, he would
have no idle excuse to offer for not
bringirg back the straying one. Torn
fleece will grow again and bruised flesh
will heal. But he who litres in a fool's
paradise, will die in a wise man's hell
Thus soliloquized Father Fabio in the
temple of the Lord. Firmly resolved
to do his avowed, priestly duty, he ex
linguished the tapers and left the
Miss Dillon had recovered her health,
and apparently her sickness, and the
priest's visit had left no imprint on two
of the family; however, the episode had
left a secret mark.
Visions ef a golden rose plucked by
tbe papal hand from the luxuriant gar
den of the church, and bestowed upon
her with his blessing for services done
his great cae, filled the sleeping ani
waking hours of Mis Dillon.
No poetever wore his wreath of laurel
with such pride as a Roman Catholic
this golden papal flower. Thus, for
the one tho priest had left the promise
of the bioomiDg of a flower of imperish
able beauty, while into the very mouth
of the other, he had thrust a sprig of
worm-wood. But the rose and the
worm-wocd both grew in the garden of
thechurch. Several weeks bad gone
by since the visit of the priest to the
home of Senator Maxwell. The senator
had made a flying visit to his home at
Christmas time and had observed noth
ing unusual in the manner of his wife,
whose first impulse had been to tell her
husband of the visit of the priest, atd
the occasion of it, and all that visit had
been to her. But intuition told her
that her husband, not recognizing the
perogative eif priests, would chide her
for confidirg to astranger the detailsof
their troubled courtship, and her hus
band's visit was short and sweet, and
she hesitated to say that which she
knew would embitter it.
Martha had noticed a certain change
in her sister-in-law, but attributing it
to her condition, had passed it by, as a
matter of course.
Father St. John sworn to do his duty,
waited a space of time; then, one after
noon, called at the Maxwell mansion,
ostensibly to see Miss Dillon. On his
way through the grounds, he met Miss
Martha and her niece, who were going
out for exercise and pleasure. The
young priest touched his hat to Martha,
who bowed stiffly in return. But the
child, who had often met Father Fabio
when out with her governess, ran to
htm and extended her hand.
The priest exchanged a few words of
pleasantry wita the little girl, as he
held her dainty little gloved fingors.and
as the child hurried after her aunt, he
turned and Icoked after her and
thought: "It were indeed a work well
done, if I can train this bright young
creature in the true faith." Yes: he
now felt the end would justify the
means. The lovely mother and her
children muit be brought within the
pale of the church. Misj Dillon had
seen the approach of the priest from a
window, so opened the door with her
O'.vd hand ere be could ring for ad
mittance. She ushered him into a
little ante-room and altera few minutes
of conversation, she left the room and
glided swiftly up the stair-case to the
rooms of her employer, knocking at the
door. It was opened by the maid whom
he had disturbed In the act of brushing
her tiiiitrvfi." hair, and who titoitd be
fore the ha fnin door, hairbrush I
hand, with a stony look ii-n her faro,
for Miss Dillon was dUl:k.d by all of
the servant of Mrn. Maxwell' hfu-MV
hold, partly on principle, she Ix-Ing in
p sition f goierneiMt and cmpaiiion
neither lady nor rervaut. Mirs Dillon
emi'ed sweetly and glided through the
half ih 11 d tor with the undulating
notion of a ma.-, and with nn ap.dogv
for li- r untimely intrusion, stt oj Mm
in r uiiMiNpe cling victim, who sat en
v lo d in heavy mursc of her hair.
in a very iimllerot-Iacl lone, she In
formed Mrs Maxwell that Fth
l al io. payirg a visit to herself to learn
if she had entirely recovered he
health and spirit, had mentioned that
ne rail very recently received news
from Sp,iin. "It did not wait to learn
what its nature might tv' she added
sniilinirlv, "fending certain, my dear
Mrs Maxill, that you would lilo te
sex; Father St. John yemrself, and hear
from your dear romantic home by weird
ol mouth.''
Mrs. Maxwell llushe-d hotly and a n
fusal to see the priest on any pretext
rose to her lips.
Mh Dillon mov -d a step ne'arer, and
fastened her yellow eyes on the fuco of
her mistress, and in alow seift voice
said: ''Let me fasten your hair,
Scnora." (Miss Dillon knew very lttth
Spanish and used that little to ad
vantngo sometimes.) "I am glad eif a
chanee to handle it," and her white
fingers, with light, mesmeric touch, ar
ranged the masses of hair into a coil;
and keeping one hand en Mrs Max
well's forehead, she reached with the
ethcr to the dressing-table1, and selected
high carve d comb. As she fastened
it in its place, she said, still in a low,
purring tone:
Ah, Seneira mia, this head as in
deed intended to wear the graceful
mantilla. By the way, how deeply the
Spanish mother of St. John Instilled in
his mind a love for Spain." Then to
the maid: "Anna, I will no longer
usury your rights. So dress your mis
tress as quickly as you can."
Like a stone imago stood Anna. Ig
noring the governess.
Mrs Maxwell arose and said: "Bring
me my house dress, Anna, and Dora,
please tell Father St. John I will see
him at once."
When the door clewed alter the gov
erness, Mrs. Maxwell stood in reflective
silence, while her maid assisted her to
change her attire. She did not want
to see this priest again. Her native
land had not been so kind to her that
she should greatly wish to bear of it,or
of these with whom it was connected.
Indeed, her sweetest memories of Gra
nada were the hours she had passed
there with her lover, who was now her
hushand. And joyfully had she left
that land of poetry and passion, of
which today she was about to hear.
Then, why should she tee this priest?
What was the something which was
stealing over her hitherto cloudless
domestic life? Why did that black-
ye-d priest who had spoken to her
words of awful Import, haunt hei?
Whose imae was before her, and
whose words wore burning in her brain,
as her maid brushed her hair? And lo!
the evil spirit had materialized and she-
was going direct to his hateful pres
ence. This hair Spani.-h prie-st had
made the first rift in the lute. The
sweet music of her domestic life had a
horrid discord to it. Would it become
more and more discordent and then for
ever mute? She shuddered; supersti
tions inborn in generations upon gen
era'.ions, may lie dormant, quiescent,
many lives, if happily they never
come in contact with some congenial
element and are revived into intense
life; so what wonder this young, finely-
organized and sensitive lady who had
been born and reared it the faith,
should feel its presence awakening
within her, by the subtile medicines ad
ministered by thoe pledged to keep
alivo and to revivify the germs of the
belief they made their life study.
Mrs. Maxwell resolved to see this
priest, and tell him plainly that she
would abide the consequences of her
own acts, strong in the support of her
After Mrs. Maxwell had left the
room, Anna sat down with her mis
tress's cast off dress on her lap, and ex
claimed: "There's somebody rotten in
the state of Denmark, and it's my opin
ion it"s Miss Dillon."
A quick knock at the door interrupted
her soliloquy, and before she was fairly
on her feet, Miss Martha entered the
was sure I heard
but you seem to be
"Well, Anna, I
some one talking,
"Yes, Miss; but
I always have my
thoughts and I sometimes talk aloud to
"H'm!" said Miss Martha, a little se
verely. "I am inclined to think your
practice is a good one. Gives you a
better idea of their propriety. But
where is Mrs. Maxwell?'1
"In the reception room, ma'am, with
a Catholic priest, which I suppose is
her affair, not mine."
"You never said a truer word, Anna."
Tueu, as her dislike of Koman priests
was greater than her dislike of gossip
ing with servants, she said:
"Do you happen to know, Anna, if
the priest came to see your mistress, or
the governess?" j
"Well, ma'am, tnex you ak me, I
will nay V my opinion that In-rame
Uis.eMrs M.iKwi-11 over Ml- !Mil.n'
shoulder. You may be sure a Catholic
priest neve r colm into a luniw- I ke
this without an object. If the gove
rn ss had K-en bin ei'-ject, he would not
hive l,'et,e. iitt y.u n almut ha intr
news from Spy in, to en'leo Mrs. Max
well to we hint. It' ii.i us-, Mb
Martha, it's em my mind, ami I naist
emt wilh It. I t h i'iiihI iiimih Ikhii
with y.iur sinter In-law in the privacy if
h--r e-'uatuher, land I her w hen It i
noi in- uiul lor lie-r tei ki-e-p up apjx-nr
noes, and I know thnt -e- since that
yellow eyed cat eif a gowrin -s was sie-k
that day end Father what ilo-voti-call-
liim got Into the hoeso and had sieech
wiiu Mrs. Aiaxwi-n, s!ie l as i-vn a
'lumped vwmimii. It's my humble- oiiin-
ion that it was a put-up job, Mis, tm,
a thiiu's is turnlni; out.
'I verily In-lit-vo it was,"sald Martha,
ai she sank lu a emir. This plain
sikcn, humbleMlring woman, though
sue was, uau e-oniiinieu siei'lcloiis
which had been troubling her own
mind ever sini-e- she had encountered
biic iiru-M on ihh ii i i. visiiatleni. hiis
ideions which had caused her to fore go
her walk and hasten back to the house).
i n saiu u) mo maiei: ".-Mina, yem
are aware- of tho condition eil your nils
tress. Her low spirits at times aro hut
natural; and after all, you know her
tit lief is tho same as Miss Dillon's.'
Miss Martha, excuse mo, but I have'
been maid to your sister in law through
two trials, and if anything, she Is more
serene and happy at those time;. As to
her being eil Miss Dillon's pcrsuaion, I
never gave it theiught, by any outward
ign she gave. If she had any of It in
her, you may bo sure it was all but dead
tilt that fe-male Jesuit got Intel tho
house. And what's more, I happened
Intel the nursery tho other day, and
there sat Miss Jeanniu telling her pray
ers on a string of beads."
Miss Martha arose freim her chair
with horreir depicted on her face.
"I thought tho nurso was a Protes
tant, Anna."
'Si is she, ma'am; least way she is
not a R man, But Jcannio, you know,
is under tho direct management of the
governess, and tho nurse being young
and rather flighty, pHys little attention
to such tilings us that. I simply told
er that Idiots acted like that and
passed on about my business. "
Then Miss Martha, standing tall and
severe, said in impressive tones:
"Anna, I hate tho principle of out
siders concerning themselves with the
private affairs of families with whom
they may bo sojourning. Still, In this
case, 1 hid that the Lord will ho with
us. My brother's wife must not be
caught in the toils of the se-arlet wo
au. xou, Anna, as you love yeiur
mistress, must help mo to ke'ep the
ast from devouring her and her in
nex-ent children." And Miss Martha
extendi d her hand toward tin; girl who
clasped it with t-rvor. Thus, these
two women, hon at in purpose, and pure
in he-art, and as bigoted in their r.on
L;aicoiioism as ino uainoucs mey so
hated, who, like all bigots could see no
atom en good in a crceid they were
prejudiced against, made this sole-mn
compact to circumvent, with tho Lord's
help, wheun they firmly believed know
not a papist the enemy each saw in
vading the home each in her particular
sphere called for a time her own.
With a gloomy brow, Miss Martha
went to her own room to meditate and
pray, and her humble ally proceeded to
arrange her mistress's belongings.
St. John, left alone in the large room
with its magnificent appointments, sank
wearily into the nearest chair, and his
thoughts grew bitter. "Why am I se
lected from all the army of priests who
would be more than glad to perfor n
this service for the church?"
Aftera while hearose for the purjiose
ofcalmirg his rebellions thoughts and
walked to where a large oil painting
representing an oriental feast of flowers,
He was listlessly gazing at its varied
features, whe n a l'ght rustle near him,
made him start.
Mrs. Maxwell stood before him pale
and calm, with extended hand He-
took tho offered hand, bowed politely
over it, and inquired after her health.
I am in my usual state of health,
Father St. John, mentally and physically."
And, gracefully seating herself, she,
with a gesture, invited the priest to
also be seated Father St. John was
not deceived. The slight emphasis she
had placed on the word "mentally," to
gether with the de fiant look in her eyes,
told him that the germ he had planted
had developed into active life. But he
gave n: sign. He artfully enimmeneed
his conversation on the current topics
eif the day. Insensibly, his at first cold
listener grew interested, and drawu out
e-onfe-MM-d h. r firm In hi K !ief that
hl 'i.!utVn of tl dy ing abb . wh
mid In the- sight of G,sl. The- -In of
the- Hh- ra iiiipaidniiiib!- urtil l"ie
evil should In in a tueH-iim- era.llcMU d
Father St. , had ,H-mclti LU half
forced it al to del LUelu'y to the can.-,
i h i t hi d ove-rwl e'mlng in LU ar'u-
ii. cuts. Mr,. Maxwell, paie-un.l t arful
i . i . i i
in e-oini uiimi lor iier sin - -iiinil ing
tUi k and hldooin mw Ik-'oii- 1,,-r Un
sought LU iiiU-rivlon to the iuumI M,.t
High fur her f.irgli-nesit.
"And, edi Fallu-r, interce.!.- 'or th
unha py spirit of the Ii1k-s. It ( n,
s if my i iirel, Words of auger to her
that night in the e-oiivent garden were
a fatal propliivy, ami I w.-n- d. Mined
to U- tin- cans-- id Lcr undoing."
The priest rnUed the we-e-plu wo
man, placid her In a chair and -UkmI
b. f-'ie- her.
"My eh-ar daughter," he saiei in iow,
eariK M toi;-: "Ke ineluU-r, the gaU s
of Paradise opened to tho outcast Peri j
whe-n she brought to the ange-l at the
gate the tear of a reK-itaut sinner.
Oh, Senora tjuerida, come back IsMly
and soul into tho blessed sanctuary, and
bring with you to their ete rnal salva-
tlan tho Innocent little, one the great
Falhe-r Lno given unto you. Aid your
b, lov.-d, S--nora, husband aluo,
only In the eye of th world" (Father
St. John's voice falU red at th-s Kurds),
"surely h- will conce-iil to Lave your
plighted nms sai i tltb-J in the sicht of
lb awn."
Mrs. Mrfuwill are si.- from her e hair,
marble-w Liu:
"Oh, Pallor I'aleo. tli-i wiil lw tho
hardest trial of all. My hiirleiml wi
ii. ver con cnl hi hav- mir marriage,
which Is I. gai and he-noral-h- among
men, ri ni wed by u innrriai! servlco
re-ad over us by h priest of any faith,
i crtiiinly not by on-; irf ours."
"My daughter, In'st in, ; the Iird
will give- you grace to oe i-miim- this
dillieulty. Goini! lie xt Thursday to tho
eiuifi sr-loiial. Tin-re lav bare tour In
most soul to God. If you aro truly re
pentant, In- will giant you abnilulion
lor the- puxt and give you grace for tho
gre at Wor of red- mpllon U fore you."
(To be Conlliiuid )
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nationality. Before an hour had passed
by, Mrs. Maxwell w ith tho glamour of
the religion of her youth, and of gen
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drinking in the sophistries of tho priest
before her. By degrees, and very care
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of the abbess; how she had declared
that her soul would find no rest till the
young girl entrusted to her care, which
trust she had betrayed, was back in the
true path. And tho father who had
cise statement of facts which are matters of historv. It points
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