Pell Street Blue
Mystery of the Talking Idols
A Simple Act of Piety
y of his life.
He spoke of it to many. But only to Father Aloysius O'Donnell, the priest who officiated, In the little Gothic church around the corner, on Ninth Avenue, did he tell the whole truth--did he confess that he had cheated.
"Of course I cheated!" he said. "Of course!" And, with a sort of mocking bravado: "What would you have done, padre?"
The priest, who was old and wise and gentle, thus not at all sure of himself, shook his head.
"I don't know," he replied. "I don't know."
"Well--I do know. You would have done what I did. You wouldn't have been able to help yourself." Then, in a low voice: "And you would have paid! As I pay--every day, every minute, every second of my life."
"Regret, repentance," murmured the priest, but the other cut him short.
"Repentance--nothing. I regret nothing! I repent nothing! I'd do the same to-morrow. It isn't that--oh--that--what d'ye call it--sting of conscience, that's driving me crazy. It's fear!"
"Fear of what?