Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Exorcism.

"If only I could have my hands free to make a sign of the cross," sighed Father Brown.

"That can be arranged, Father," said Georgina. "Turn your back towards me, I'll turn mine towards you and will untie your hands prettty quickly."

Meanwhile poor George was cackling like a rooster and pecking the ground. He just swooped down on a rat, got it up, bit its neck apart and started chewing ...

Georgina felt so disgusted, so she looked away and hurried up.

Father Brown, once free, stood up and started with a cracked voice, which soon became full and valiant and quarrelsome:

"... get thee out of this creature of God, foul demon, get thee out, Apollo or rather Apollyon, Shiva, Satan, Abaddon or whatever by thy Hellish name ... get thee out, foul Tash or even evolutionary life force, if such be thy hellish name ... of this creature of God, thy Lord against whom thou rebelledest and out of this room and out of the idolatrous image with which thou beguilest the unwary, in the name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy + Ghost!"

He had made a sign of the cross for each of the three Persons as he spoke the Holy Name of the Triune God.

George dropped the rat. He seemed to be coughing. A stench as from a dead cat that had been lying on a hot street for days came out ... then he threw up ... and what came out was a smoke which took form as of a greyish putrid smoke and a shape nearly human except for the vulture head, and for the arms which were six instead of two, with claws instead of fingers. Exactly as the evil looking idol, but worse. George rolled over and was as if dead.

The demon stood upright and menacing against Father Brown, but he managed to get hold of his Crucifix and brandish it ... and the demon shrieked as if in pain and grew weak ... a shriek which curled the blood ad filled men and women with terror. Until it was reduced to a wail.

"Don't go soft on him now," whispered Georgina under her breath. But the priest had gone on menacing the demon.

Father Brown renewed his efforts and said a "begone, begone from the world of men!" with the cross on high.

Tash uttered another shriek of terror, and fled, across the fire, through the statue of itself, into some void. And the statue's limbs began to tremble, and totter, and it fell, and it lay in the fire, beside its chief worshipper, the bad Telmarine, the evil police officer, the former seducer of George to devilworship, who groaned.

"If I could untie someone's ropes and one could quench the fire, maybe we could save this man. He needs repentance."

He untied the ropes of Georgina, and of Charles, and these untied the ropes of Julian and Dick. And - with an excuse for the delay - Father Brown untied the ropes of old Simon. Then he went over to George, made a sign on the cross over the forehead, said "wake up young fool, should not have been dabbling in these things, you know ..." and if George did not wake up immediately, at least he moaned.

Meanwhile the others - or one of them - had found out how to turn on some water, and it filled the fiery basin with a sizzling and smoke - a much nicer smoke than the stench of Tash - and hot steam as water got hotter and lesser flames as fire grew weaker. Charles drew up the moaning evil man from the fire basin, where he had so oeftn committed ritual murders to honour the expelled demon.

"You were my boss at the police station, but now you are under arrest. You shall get to hospital and to prison, do you hear me?"

"You're a fool, I'm dying before I get anywhere like that."

And he lost consciousness, and before he reached the hospital he was dead.

But before the ambulance even came for him, George regained his consciousness. And Georgina and Simon and Father Brown were all looking at him. With some concern.

"I have a funny taste of blood in my mouth," he said (and indeed he had rat blood around the lips), "what happened?"

"We will tell you later, right now you seem to need a glass of brandy to wash your mouth ..."

And George who was himself again could indicate where that could be gotten, and they all had brandy - a glass each. "A friend of mine," said Father Brown, "said one should thank God for Beer and Brandy by not drinking too much of them. One can add: by not omitting the occasions when needed."

When the ambulance had arrived and taken away the unconscious culprit, they walked upstairs into the kitchen for breakfast. It was no longer night, but morning and the sun was bright.

Father Brown tottered into a chair. "Sorry, but this is the first time I deal with manifestations of the demonic. Like this. I am not sure I will be able to celebrate Mass this morning. I am not quite as used to things like this as a Franciscan in Pietrelcina that I have heard of."