The Sauce Thickens

I glanced at the man with renewed interest, curious about his reasons for joining the church under somewhat false pretenses.  He'd also signaled the barmaid for a lager, not what you'd expect a padre to be having for breakfast.  There was more to this than meets the eye, and I joined him in downing a drink, figuring I could best catch him unawares in his own territory.

"If holiness were a prerequisite for churchmen," I replied, "the church would be in a helluva better state.  By the way, I'm Thomas.  And being as I'm a gardener, I'll have a look in my van for those gloves you're wanting."

"Ah, you're a sport," he replied.  "For the record, I'm Father Riley".

"For the record?" I responded.  "Would that be the character role or the fact?" 

"You don't need to see identification for loaning a pair of gloves," Riley replied.  He grasped my hand in a mixture of good will and urgency, propelling me towards the door in the direction of my van.  "I can't afford to be late for the service.  I imagine it'd be best if you came along so as to be able to retrieve your gloves.  Last thing I need is to be called a thief"

I shrugged, tossing change for the drinks on the counter, wondering what I had gotten myself into.  He'd certainlyy downed the drink expertly, not the sort of behavior you'd expect to find in the local parsonage.  As I followed him outside, I wondered what would be preached at the harvest service, and whether Riley could pull it off with the all too obvious smell of lager on his breath..

The End

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