I read the Craysfield Bugle in the High Street, the pages were displayed behind glass on the side wall of the newspaper office. Jacob Haitsbury had admitted all charges and many more criminal acts in various parts of the diocese. He belonged in an asylum for the criminally insane.
The Bishop had resigned and moved to a home for retired priests on the other side of the planet, he had already left the country.
An enlarged copy of my letter was also posted on the wall.
I continued up the street, I was thinking about what to do next, I was running out of food at the Vicarage, I saw Mrs Pyke in her shop, her daughter Susan was staring out of a side window, she looked sad.
I stopped, I had to do something, I knocked on the door and Susan opened it. “Hello, Susan.” “Come in and I'll make some tea.”
The door opened into the kitchen. Susan pulled the nose off the kettle and filled it with water. She used matches to light the burner on the gas stove. “I think I know who you are, or I think I do. You know who I am, you know my brother too. Who are you?”
“Mary Pyke. It's nice and cosy here in the kitchen, I like it here...”
The kettle whistled, Susan removed it from the stove, she pulled off the nose, the whistling stopped, she poured the boiling water into a big brown teapot.
“I heard the kettle whistle, can I have a cup of...” Mrs Pyke had entered the room and saw me.
“Mum, this is Mary Pyke, she's a friend of Ronny's.”
“Nice to meet you Mary. Do you live in Craysfield?”
“Oh yes, 41 High Street”
“But that is this house...”
“I know. You do want me to stay?”
The door opened. “Hello Ronny, I'm just making tea. D'yer want a cup?”
“Yes please, Susan.” He turns and notices me and kisses me on the forehead.
“It still hurts doesn't it, Susan?”
“Yeah, the doctor's given me some pills for it. But tell me what do you want to do, Mary? Are you still at school, or do you have a job or... It hurts, I want to tell you about it, I want you to tell me who you really are. I'm confused, I...”
“Dearest Susan, the reason that you are confused is those pills. Take fewer or better still, throw them away.”
“You want to marry Ronny and take him away and make Mum and me very unhappy.”
“No, Susan. That's not true. Last month I wanted Ronny, last week I needed Ronny and this week I love Ronny. Yes, I love Ronny and I think that he loves me. There, I've said it.”
“But I want to stay here with the three of you. I want to help your Mum in the shop, I can sell things, while she sews, which is what she really wants to do. I want to help you, but I don't know how yet.”
“I want to tell you, Mary, what happened, it was terrible, but I think you already know. What do I know? I feel so light-headed.”
“You must have the courage your secrets to hold.
You must have the courage the truth to be told.”