Reverend Jenkins - his friends called him Jinx - was walking over to Susan's house with brisk steps. Giving news of a demise was never an easy task. At least that was what he told himself. He had began getting some habit though. So, he walked on.
He remembered the day when the three youngsters had asked to get out of the English Church. They could not without parental permission, and he told them so. "Are you Roming?" he had said. - "What do you mean 'roaming'?" - "Well, going to Rome: becoming Roman Catholics, are you that?"
"At least that is one possibility, and a pretty distinct one," said Peter.
They had not had time to "Rome". They were squashed in a railway accident.
Funny things do happen. He had encouraged the use of psychiatry - in a light way of course - to try to get ahead of some youthful enthusiasm that they would be bound to regret later. Now was later, they had not regretted it. They were dead.
Now, Susan was a stable girl. It was always her he counted on for any Christmas fair or Wedding Party - as long as preparations left her free to dance. If there was a dance. Sometimes she had been known to prepare Church coffee, and stay serving, even though there was no dancing going on.
But she was hardly what some would call a "true believer". Her brothers and sister had been. That is why it was such a shame losing them to Rome. So much better keeping them along here among Anglicans. Just to get some of the enthusiasm out of them. It wouldn't do to let it become Papist superstitions, would it?
Now he arrived at the door. He had a funny feeling she might have been to a dance, but at nine o' clock she would be awake or not too far from it. Even if she had been drinking a bit last evening.
She was in fact a bit under the weather, and she told him she wanted to take a cup of strong coffee before crying, but she wanted to take it alone.
He was pushed off. "I'll be calling later today."
"Do, but leave me alone now, will you!"
She was irritated if her eyebrows were not lying: "You know, we'll need to make arrangements for the funeral."
"Eleven," she agreed sullenly.