Brother Paulo

Father Kelly jumped in to answer, "Yes, Lieutenant, Brother Paolo, was one of the Franciscan brothers who has been here for many years.  You might say he is a rather colorful soul.  A few years ago, he expressed a call to the priesthood, but the Archbishop denied his application.  That set a deep resentment within Brother Paolo's heart and he has been quite vocal about it.  From time to time, strange occurrences have happened to the Archbishop, and many around here believe Brother Paolo may have been the culprit."

"Strange occurrences?"

"Nothing all that terrible.  Ink spilled on the Archbishop's papers, mail being tossed into the waste basket, one day someone had cut down the Archbishop's prize gardenia bushes.  You know they are quite rare in the Boston area.  Each year he has to dig them up and then relocate them to the green house for the winter.  After which he goes and replants them each spring."

"Father, has this Brother Paolo ever threatened the Archbishop?"

Sister Anne answered, "Oh, almost every day but no one takes him seriously."

"Why not?"

"Oh, Brother Paolo is quite limited in regard to intellectual capacity.  He's quite mad but has always been harmless, kind of sweet really, except when it came to my brother.  But, Lieutenant, how could have my brother ever approved of his going to seminary?  Brother Paolo does his janitorial duties, he cleans the pews and takes out the garbage.   He also takes food and blankets to the homeless nearby.  In fact, that is where you will find Brother Paolo most nights, sleeping with the homeless over behind the A & P."

"Is there anyone else, you can think of at the moment?"

Father Kelly started to speak, but then held back.

"Go ahead, Father.  I think you were about to say something."

"Well, I not sure if this is worth mentioning, but you may have read where the Archbishop refused to allow a church funeral for Benny Mahoney.  When the Archbishop declined his old man a fancy funeral, his oldest son, Bryan, stormed in and raised holy h*ll."   I could tell by the agitated tone of the usually peaceful Father Kelly that this must have been quite a scene.

"Well, I find mobsters don't like to be denied, but I have to admit I admire Archbishop Collins for taking a stand."

I pressed for more names, but that was all for the moment. "And you said I could take a look in the basement."

"Yes, Lieutenant.  I see Raymond is out there waiting for you."

"Sister Anne, again my condolences on the death of your brother.  He was a great man."

"Thank you, sir.  I agree."

Father Kelly then escorted me to hook up with Raymond, a smiling old fellow with maybe three teeth left, and dancing girls tattooed on each arm.  Add to that a Cajun accent that had to have come from some backwoods bayou in Louisiana, and you had something different.  He didn't say all that much.  Just smiled, grunted, and motioned you to come with a slight move of his long, bony fingers. The fact that he also chewed tobacco and could spit with the best of them only enhanced his charm.

The End

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