Even Men of the Cloth Have Their Enemies

"My Lord, Lieutenant.  I reckon we need to talk.  Poisoned. I thought surely that it was a heart attack, but poison?"  Father Kelly motioned for me to have a seat.  "Are you seriously saying that someone may have killed Archbishop Collins?"

"Oh, it's possible.  But again it may have been accidental.  Did the Archbishop spend a great deal of time in the garden?"

"Oh, yes, indeed.  The Gardens was his baby.  He had planned those gardens, planted all the bushes and trees, and was the resident gardener for the Gardens.  he was almost out there every morning and evening that he was in town."

"So he probably handled the insecticides used in the garden."

"He must have.  I recall him out there many times with one of those hand pump sprayers spraying on those gradenias of his."

"Where did he keep his gardening supplies?"

"I believe in the basement.  Around back there is a walkout basement door."

"I will need to take a look at what's down there."

"Oh, yes, I understand.  I'll have Raymond take you down there, Lieutenant."  He then turned and said to the silent third person in this conversation,  "Sister Anne, tell Sister Beatrice to fetch Raymond up here for us." The nun rose to do her duty and it appeared that responding to her sense of duty temporarily lifted her from her mourning.  Then the Father returned to me, "Lieutenant, Raymond has been our Church Sexton for years.  He was also very close with the Archbishop personally.  Some say that Raymond was the Archbishop's priest. "

While Sister Anne was off delivering the message,  I jumped to another matter, probably a matter best handled in her absence.  "Father Kelly.  I know this may seem to be an odd question to ask, but ... was there anyone who might have wanted harm to come to the Archbishop?"

I was expecting a quick "No".  Instead I received a silent stare followed by a closing of the office door.  "Lieutenant MacKenzie." ( I have noted that when people get serious about telling me something, they tend to use my full title and name.  I was told that this is almost an unconscious thing that witnesses and suspects cannot help doing.) 

Father Kelly continued, "Even men of the cloth have their enemies, especially powerful ones.  We hear the kind of confessions that you as a police officer often hear, but we have to keep it to ourselves.  Some people who confess, do so because they trust us, but later have doubts about whether they should have made the confession.   Also, when you are the head of a wealthy diocese such as Boston, you are all the time getting into conflicts over things such as granting construction bids, announcing school closings, moving this priest and not moving that priest, many things like that..  Of course, he also had to deal with fanatics who are belieiving that they are on a Mission from God and the crazies who are holding some grudge against God."

"Can you think anyone in specific?"

"Not really.  But give me some time to sift through his correspondence, I might find something."

"Please, Father, if you find anything, no matter how slight it might be, be sure to give it to me."

By this time, Sister Anne had returned.  "Father, Raymond will be right up."

"Thank you, Sister.  Sister, the Lieutenant was asking me if anyone was having grievances with the Archbishop."

I was rather surprised that the Father felt perfectly at ease at extending my quetioning to the greiving sister.

She gave it a good bit of thought and then offered, "I would think there were some who were unhappy with my brother.   Like Brother Paulo."

"Brother Paulo?"






The End

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