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datatime: 2022-11-27 17:11:29 Author:AIXFBLcQ

I sincerely apologize for this intrusion, said Pendergast.

Pendergast nodded.

D'Agosta cleared his throat. "Where'd he get his money?"

I see, murmured Pendergast.

Pleased to make your acquaintance. The priest crushed his hand in greeting.This is no gentle lamb of God, thought D'Agosta. He eased down in the chair, shifting, trying hard to get comfortable. He failed. The room, despite the sunny day outside, felt cold and damp. God, he would never make a good monk.

I see, Pendergast replied.

Indeed. Anyway, while living in Florence, Grove had become quite devout. In an intellectual kind of way, as some people do. He loved to engage me in discussion. There is, Mr. Pendergast, such a thing as a Catholic intellectual, and that was Grove.

Grove stayed in Florence and I visited him several times. He was living in a beautiful villa in the hills south of the city.

Father Cappi laughed. "Very true, Sergeant D'Agosta."

Pendergast nodded at him to proceed.

That's a complicated question requiring a long answer.

Quite all right. I just hope I can be of help. This is a tragic business.

Sergeant D'Agosta is a writer of mysteries, explained Pendergast.

He was very happily married. He adored his wife. And then, quite abruptly, she left him, ran off with another man. To say that Grove was devastated is not saying enough. He was destroyed. And he focused his anger on God.

I sincerely apologize for this intrusion, said Pendergast.

An interesting story, Sergeant. He bought a painting at an auction at Sotheby's that was billed as being by a late follower of Raphael. Grove was able to prove it as the hand of the master himself, turned around and sold it for thirty million dollars to the Met.

Jeremy Grove and I go way back. We met at Columbia as students many years ago. I went on to the priesthood, and he went to Florence to study art. In those days, we were both-well, I wouldn't call us religious in the usual sense of the word. We were both spirituallyintrigued . We used to argue to all hours of the morning about questions of faith, epistemology, the nature of good and evil, and so forth. I went on to study theology at Mount St. Mary's. We continued our friendship, and a few years later I officiated over Grove's marriage.

That's a complicated question requiring a long answer.

As I told the police, the call came to my home at 3:10 in the morning-the answering machine registered the time-but every year I take a two-week retreat here, and so I wasn't home to receive it. I check my messages upon rising-it's a violation of the rules, but I've got an elderly mother. I immediately headed out to Long Island, but, of course, it was too late.

I'll buy it immediately.

Pleased to make your acquaintance. The priest crushed his hand in greeting.This is no gentle lamb of God, thought D'Agosta. He eased down in the chair, shifting, trying hard to get comfortable. He failed. The room, despite the sunny day outside, felt cold and damp. God, he would never make a good monk.

Is that so I love detective stories. Give me a title.

D'Agosta cleared his throat. "Where'd he get his money?"

Indeed. Anyway, while living in Florence, Grove had become quite devout. In an intellectual kind of way, as some people do. He loved to engage me in discussion. There is, Mr. Pendergast, such a thing as a Catholic intellectual, and that was Grove.

We'll take as little of your time as possible. Perhaps we should begin with the telephone call.

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