Gospel handed the letter to the cook and waited in the hall. As usual, he walked up and down here as well, but excited with small steps, not as quietly as at home. Sometimes he stopped, clasped his hands in a massive gesture, and muttered a short, short prayer for the letter to succeed.
It took a lot of effort for this letter, but he did not regret it. He awakened in him again the sacred ambition. All the plethora of zeal, enthusiasm, and lust for action that his half-converted convert had pushed back into his soul now broke out of him. He almost rejuvenated from the excitement of the struggle, his eyes burning in fire and he felt the persuasive arguments, the consecrated word flowers as a room with inner inspiration on his lips.
He imagined that he could feel one of the secret threads that lead the world, as he thought he saw the astonishing hidden paths of Providence that the scientist got sick here, right next to him, convinced that it was no coincidence that he , Gospel, as a reward for his humble, obedient life, he is called -22-to convert the great destroyer. Old sacred examples came to his mind as some of the elect fought with the main enemies of the church, as they converted entire nations in the person of their prince, as they fought sacred, decisive battles. At this moment, as if he were the weak David, who would defeat the armies of the Philistines in Goliath, not by himself, but by the power of the Lord. Because enough is the word of a man with whom the heavenly will is. The example of great saints hovered before him, they too were only weak priests, St. Bernat, St. Patrick, many, many… And what a victory it would have been for faith, what a defeat for the apostates! What is the proof that all knowledge, all wisdom, is nothing but vanity, on the brink of death only the eternal teaching of the church provides comfort and reassurance to man. And it would be void by the fact of conversion all that what this man has written and done against the holy laws is weakened by his mockery, the scientific arsenal, all, all, the whole school to which his name is attached. His conversion is a greater act of conversion than the baptism of thousands of Gentiles…
And the cook took the letter to the sick room.
The doctor had just done his daily examination and washed his hands. The woman received the letter. He broke it up, though it was addressed to the scientist. But he opened all his letters, usually he also answered them, he also served as secretary; the old gentleman has long arranged this way.
She looked for his pope’s eyes, but suddenly -23-he could not find it, so he then asked the doctor to read it.
The doctor wiped his hands and walked to the window.
The letter was from a teacher-colleague who, although one of the old scientist’s opponents, maintained a somewhat superficially friendly relationship with him.
“My dear friend,” it was written in it, the Reverend will bring these lines to You. He is a very smart, far-sighted and even scientific man. He wants to talk to you. Please accept and listen. After all, no matter what one thinks, one never knows for sure. For scientists like you, life is their profession, priests are death. Accept it, because if you don’t use it, it can’t hurt.
Welcome… etc. ”
Already at the first words, at the mention of the priest, the woman stood up and stepped to the patient’s head to cover her face from the doctor. It was good, too, because it could hardly have been misunderstood what the big eyes of the anxious had said. They turned with cracking joy, no longer to the woman but to the doctor; their expression radiated hopeful joy, anticipation, longing. It was good that the reader could not see. The old man also tried to speak, perhaps stuttering louder, more firmly, but only the woman understood that he was saying, come in, come in, come in. His arm, his left, trembling again, he began to cross again. But the woman grabbed her, with love, but firmly and squeezed her,-24- with the same hand that saved his work from the fire, down with the one on which the burnt scar was still red there.
The cook was still standing in the doorway.
“Tell me there is no answer,” she said, and though she forced herself to calm down, her voice trembled; and as the cook seemed, as if waiting for another answer, hesitating, starting slowly, repeating more angrily, – tell me, no answer, no answer!
He wanted to be alone with the patient, he also motioned for the doctor to go out to the laboratory next door.
The doctor looked back out the door and saw big fat tears rolling down his helpless man’s face, into his beard.
Waiting for a while, the woman also came out into the lab room. He looked upset.
“Don’t go in today, the old man was very upset about the letter,” she said, falling to a chair by the microscopic table. After a short pause, he continued with some explanation – what tactlessness, what evil tactlessness!
The doctor sat across from him, on the other side of the magnifying glass.
“Tactless, yes, but I think the colleague wanted good and let me, maybe he’s right.”
They spoke softly, intermittently, as one speaks in a church or at a dead house.
– How can you say that! She replied.
The doctor explained that now, such -25-in a stroke-stricken state, only a church wedding would have been conceivable, and, forgive him, their old friend, it was precisely the woman who would have an interest in it happening. The teacher is destitute, he knows well what he was earning with his books, he was consumed by the cost of diving, he only has a pension. Church inextremis swearing would surely be honored, taken as a reconciliation, and a pension which he, as his girlfriend, could not draw, would certainly be given to the widow. Think about it, if you die, there will be nothing left. And the doctor repeated, think, think…
She waved negatively at every word. It seemed to him that he was barely listening, that his mind was different. There was a sharp concern on his face. Apparently there was a question before him, a worrying question.
And he listened for a long time to the wide, stubborn chin resting on the glass cover of the instrument.
“Tell me, please,” he said at last, “could it be better?”
The answer was delayed and he had already asked what he was most interested in:
– Can you regain your ability to speak?
Worried yellow eyes nailed to the doctor.
“I don’t think so,” he replied, “I don’t think so, though it’s not quite impossible.”
The woman interrupted:
– So no, certainly not?-26-
“I don’t think we can be prepared for taking it for long.”
The doctor thought he was saying a shocking, overwhelming thing and cut a long-practiced participant’s jaw. And the woman closed her yellow dog eyes so that the reassurance wouldn’t flash out of her, only something was playing around her lips as if her soul was relieved.