The walk to the center of town
Didn’t take long. With Miss Devin
On his arm, Father Benedict
Escorted her into Vaxen,
Enjoying the envy of those
Younger men who happened to see.
And as they walked, they spoke of things
About which Cardinal Jarvik
Cared little – the common lives of
The townsfolk, the history of
Vaxen, and the dangers of which
A young woman should be aware…
And how Dietrich posed no danger at all.
A subject in which she showed keen interest!
“Mr. Bonham seems a kind man,”
She said. “It’s hard to believe that
Anyone would want to harm him.”
“There are always evil men who
Prey on those better than themselves,”
The Father said sadly. “A man
Like Dietrich demands holiness
Of himself, and so exposes
Other men’s sins by example.
Rather than face their own darkness,
They try to extinguish the light
In others. This ‘werewolf’ Jarvik
Seeks? I believe it is the work
Of such sinners, a ruse to hide
Their evildoing from the law.
But the judgment of God stalks them;
His justice will bring them all down.”
Not one to frighten easily,
Miss Devin asked, “So you believe
Your friend fell victim to robbers
Pretending to be a werewolf?
Did he bear the marks of a wolf,
As did the others who have died?”
Benedict shook his head. “Alas,
He did not. But he was beaten
In a manner that could not be
Accidental.” And then he smiled.
“Miss Devin, I would not question
Dietrich’s righteousness, but neither
Would I question his fierce nature.
He is a gentle soul, but true
Gentleness requires a deep strength.
Only the truly strong among us
Have the ability to act
In a truly gentle manner,
And it takes depth of character
To show grace to one’s enemy.
The soul devoted to the Lord
Would become a terrible sword
Should God decide to make him so.
Perhaps Dietrich’s attackers learned
That terrible lesson firsthand.”
She gasped. “Do you think he killed them?”
Benedict smiled. “No, I think not.
Some evildoers died that night
But they bore the marks of the wolf.
You have seen Dietrich, Miss Devin;
Does he look like a wolf to you?”