What Do You Really Want
There is a point in everyone's life that you have to question what you want. Who you choose to let privy to that information and the outcome is up to you. Aahir travelled alone this time. It was going to be a short trip. His father in law and employer had him come out for a week or two to check on the crops. Well, more or less to check on how badly off the crops are from the winters here. He would do an assessment, which then would in turn could lead to more or less sales for the farmers here.
The winters in India were harsh, so he was glad to get away each year if only for a small bit, but because he'd be returning to a harsh winter he couldn't shave off his beard and cut his hair just yet. His thick dark hair naturally appeared wavy after a certain length. His full beard helped him stay warm, but it also added some years to his looks. He walked by foot, someone else carrying his luggage up.  He gave the man a generous tip and joined the owner of the large home in the living area. Thanking the owner for his hospitality for the week, he shook the man's hand and then proceeded to put some of the things on his possession in the corner of the room. One of the items was his thick winter coat, which would not be needed here.

Aahir ran his hand across his scarred face as if to wake it up. His fingers proceeded to move through his hair as he stared in a mirror at the scar under his eye. His fingers picked up a bag of coins and he headed out and into the town. He smiled at a local villager pushing a cart filled with flowers into town but one probably could not make heads or tails that it was a smile. He took in the familiar smells and the new ones, as the last time he was hear with his wife was mid September.  He passed up the theatre, but found himself turning on his heels and standing in front of it. He wanted to invest in the theatre the last time he was here, but he never got the chance. Maybe this trip he would be able to.
Father Kemble had planned it out so carefully. Befriend the right people. Invite them to the presbytery. Serve them the best wine. And just talk. Make subtle suggestions as to who has leadership qualities, and more importantly, who will certainly support them. And not to forget: befriend the intended next bishop himself. Father Efron considered him a close friend and loyal advisor. Monseignor Lacy might never have liked him, but George had powerful friends to protect him and as soon as Lacy was out, the tables would turn.

But he had made one clumsy miscalculation: The twit just wouldn't die. It seemed unfair that no influenza, no consumption, no other common killer seemed to come near the aging man's body, when he had seen tons of younger people succumb in his own parish.

And then all it had taken was a bit of scandal for him to be removed from his parish, all his 'friends' deciding they would rather be friends with the bishop than risk their careers for him, and for him to be whisked off to some remote, backward area that he had never even heard off. There was not even a train station, and George was forced to endure a coach ride of a couple of hours across the moors. His body was aching when they finally stopped in a depressing little market place and he got off, letting the driver gather his luggage for him. George barely tipped him for the hellish ride. He would put in a prayer for his soul - and for his driving skills.

Of course there was no one waiting for him. Father Kemble wondered whether these farmers could even tell time. It was colder than it had been in York, his long black cassock barely protecting him. George picked up his suitcase. He would need to find a boy to carry it for him. But first, he would need to know where on earth the presbytery was. He saw a man with long dark hair stand in front of what appeared to be a theater - what use was civilization to the poor bastards living in this godforsaken place? - and hesitated for a moment. The man's rough appearance convinced him all the more that the inhabitants of this town were barely more than savages. Perhaps he could befriend the people of that stately manor though - he would surely be in need of good wine very soon. "You there..." he said, trying not to pull up his nose too much at the sight of the man's untamed beard. "Good sir. Would you know where I might find the presbytery?
Why start business as soon as he got in to town? It was a long journey and he was tired. Today he just wanted to make his presence known.It would give the farmers a heads up that it was that time again, at least the farmers that he had dealt with in the passed. His employer liked helping smaller towns with farmers than going to a well populated area where supplies became bidding wars.

There was another reason he wanted his presence known. He had a bit of an ego, he was very wealthy. He wasn't as wealthy as his wife's family, but wealthy none the less. Aahir had also met a very nice man the last time he was in town and was curious to find out if he still resided in the area. The Indian man walked up to the theatre and was about to put his hand on the door knob when he heard a voice. His hand lowered back to his side.

He was actually surprised that someone was directing their voice in his direction. He didn't think he looked like a native to this place, so at first he thought he was about to be sold a pitch. When Aahir turned to see who was speaking he noticed the man's garbs. He was about to tell him his name, so another 'you there wouldn't take place when he asked about the church. "The place they perform religious services?" The accent coming from his lips was clearly that of someone born and raised in India.

He took a step back from the theatre and looked around to get his barring's. "It's in town, you are on the outskirts. I am headed that way shortly if you need a walking companion." He moved up to the doors of the theatre and pulled on them to see if they were unlocked.
George frowned. From the way the man spoke the priest figured that he was a foreigner. And probably not a christian. So perhaps he could be forgiven for not knowing what a presbytery was. If George had been zealous, he would have seen this as an opportunity to evangelize. As it was, he was not even mildly motivated.

"The place where the priests live. But no doubt it would be near the church. Thank you." He was not exactly eager to wait. He was freezing, sore, and he did not want to talk to anyone. But he did not want to get lost in this dreary place. And some foreigner wealthy enough to travel was probably better company than the next farm blighter. And so George waited.
The door didn't budge; he took a step back and turned around to look at the holy man. Just because he was Hindu didn't mean he didn't respect other people's beliefs. "I was hoping the theatre was open. I'll return later." He started to walk figuring the priest would just follow or catch up to his steps. If he needed to know where the place was, then his new traveling companion must have been new. He wasn't going to say anything and just walk in silence, but it did not last long. His wife always told him he gave off a vibe that made people want to be quiet around him. "Where are your roots?"
"York," he replied, walking a little behind, because he was dragging his suitcase. This would have gone easier on paved roads, but he had not expected to find them here. No disappointment there then.

"I served in a parish there for a couple of years, until I heard of this poor deprived area and volunteered to serve here. I have a strong commitment to the poor." Well he could drag some kid off the streets and pay for its education. He supposed he wouldn't have to go near it if he just paid for accommodation and education, so he wouldn't catch anything. Maybe one day he would be declared a saint.

"And you, sir. You are not from around here, surely."
He tried to put on a slight smile as a way to show the man he actually was listening to his words. He noticed the back of young man that had just helped him with his own luggage not to far off. "JEREMIAH" The indian accent was commanding like a general ordering soldiers.  The young man turned around and  Aahir raised his arm and then motioned with his fingers to come.  The young man excused himself from whom he was talking and ran right over.  "Jeremiah, could you please take the father's luggage to the..." He looked back to the priest for him to say the proper word. Then he looked back to the boy and took some money out of the pouch he was carrying and handed it to the young man. 

"You would be correct. I am on business."
"Oh no, you are too kind," George said when the man was paying, but he was already too late. He did not like owing debts. He preferred people owing debts to him. "The presbytery." As the young man already started walking, George turned to the Indian fellow. "That sounds interesting. What sort of business are you into?" Definitely a potential friend. Maybe he could get this man to bring him one of those fancy tiger skins for a reduced price.
(05-12-2019, 03:20 PM)George Kemble Wrote: "Oh no, you are too kind," George said when the man was paying, but he was already too late. He did not like owing debts. He preferred people owing debts to him. "The presbytery." As the young man already started walking, George turned to the Indian fellow. "That sounds interesting. What sort of business are you into?" Definitely a potential friend. Maybe he could get this man to bring him one of those fancy tiger skins for a reduced price.

"Jeremiah, if the father here needs anything get it don't worry about the fees." He placed a hand on the boys shoulder before he started walking ahead of them with the priest's luggage. "It's not kindness" He paused and placed a sly smile on his face "It's doing what I was taught. A religious man, even if a different religion is still a servant of a higher power, show respect." He quoted his mother's words. His face returned to its normal state of showing no emotion. 

"Many different hats, here I am mainly in trade. I handle the negotiations for crops to be sent to India. I come during the winter to observe the fields and assess the damage from the winter."
That was good to know. The man might be a heathen - or so he supposed - but he showed respect. That was more than he would expect to get from most people in this protestant sixth circle of hell. His own congregation, hopefully, would quake under his glance.

He listened with a frown. Where Indians using England as a resource for their own economy now? This was the world upside down, George thought to himself. Before they knew it they would be an Indian colony. He could not imagine what anyone could want from this God-forsaken region anyway, let alone someone from abroad. "Oh? Is it worth the cost of transporting it all the way to India?" he asked.
" Most likely not, but my employee happened to stumble up upon this place when trying to get away from the devil's storms. They we're nice and he wanted to make sure he could help this village survive ."

He look at the priest as they continued to walk. Aahir realized he wasn't the easiest man to look at as the scar under his eye was very prominent. His looks , specially during the winter, made it easier to get truthful answers , even if not expressed in a friendly manner. "Might I ask , Why have you come now?"
"That's very charitable," he commented. "I'm here to serve as a priest to the catholic community here," he said. More likely the one immigrated Irish family he would find here and the two lost Anglicans who didn't get along with their own priest. And he probably wouldn't be able to make a word out of what the former were saying, and the latter would probably be despicable overall. Just wonderful. He cursed bishop Lacy mentally.
"Yes, he's very charitable." Though he admired his father in law for things like that, there were plenty of things he did not like about the man. He ran his tongue against his teeth as if to check for food, but tried to do so without making it noticeable. "Ah..." he responded as he walked "Catholic, I don't know much about your religion, but fear not I am not hear to steer people to Hinduism"
Again an excellent chance for evangelization! But why bother? He wanted to get to the house and have his stomach filled and have a good glass of wine. Although he doubted there'd be any good wine in the house. With the size of his congregation here he would be happy if the tithes would be enough to put meat on his plate every evening. The thought of forced fasting from meat outside of Friday horrified. He was a priest for heaven's sake! How were the faithful to look up to him if he lived like a pauper? "Well I doubt you'd have much change in the first place. The place is festering with protestants and they're all ready to knock you over the head with their Bibles if you'd try and convert them. And there's witchcraft too or so I've heard." He wasn't sure which was worse.
"The world is big enough for all of us to live in harmony, maybe butt heads from time to time, but I believe it is fear sir, fear that keeps people from the possibility of opening themselves to other believes. Maybe because they are afraid they might change their beliefs if they did so, which in turn makes them feel bad about themselves. But that is a heavy conversation for a quick stroll. We should be at your destination shortly." He kept walking until they got to the fork in the road and the boy made a right turn.

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