Benedict opened the church door
And gestured Miss Devin inside.
“Pieter!” he called as he followed her in.
In moments Pieter appeared. “Father!
Master Bonham has finally wakened
And is asking for you!” he gasped. Then,
Seeing Miss Devin, abruptly halted
And bowed. “Forgive my rudeness, ma’am.”
“Think nothing of it,” Miss Devin said
With a smile. “The Father told me of
Your master’s injuries. A fortunate man
Is he that you should care so much.
And one who inspires such loyalty
Must truly be a man of character.”
Pieter straightened and beamed with pride.
“Indeed, ma’am, he is. A better man
You’ll never find around these parts –
Of course, I mean no offense, Father.”
He bowed again as Benedict smiled.
“I take no offense, Pieter. It’s true,
Miss Devin,” he said with a smile.
“You’ll find no better man in Vaxen
Than Dietrich Bonham. I count myself
Most fortunate to call him a friend.”
Then he turned to Pieter. “Is your master
Dressed? Or does he lounge about
Awaiting his afternoon tea? Indeed,”
He said with a wink, “the man can be decadent.”
Pieter glanced at Miss Devin and shared
A conspiratorial smile with the Father.
“’Tis true, milady. My master’s been known
To eat the occasional chocolate truffle
And wash it down with a sip of brandy…
With never the slightest hint of guilt!”
Miss Devin covered her mouth with her hand
And feigned a gasp to cover her laugh.
“A wicked man indeed!” she said
And added, “You’re quite right, Father. Quite right!
Such a sinner as this one is surely in need
Of our ministry. I should enjoy meeting him.”
Benedict nodded. “I thought so,” he said.
“So answer me, Pieter. Is your master up
And has he made himself presentable?
Run now and tell him that visitors come!”