urly little man, a sound judge of women and bulls, might be consulted gratis, preferably before the supreme heat of day. Seated beneath a sombre study of the Magdalen waylaying our Lord (a work of wistful interest ascribed to Valdés Leal), he was, with tactful courtesy, at the disposal of anyone soliciting information as to "vacant dates," or "hours available," for some impromptu function. Indulgences, novenas, terms for special masses--with flowers and music? Or, just plain; the expense, it varied! Bookings for baptisms, it was certainly advisable to book well ahead; some mothers booked before the birth--; ah-hah, the little Juans and Juanas; the angelic babies! And arrangements for a corpse's lying-in-state: "Leave it to me." These, and such things, were in his province.
But the secretarial bureau was but merely a speck in the vast shuttered room. As a rule, it was by the old pagan sarcophaguses, outside the vestry-door, "waiting for Father," that aficianados of the cult liked best to