The Jesuit

Dear me, my tolerant and liberally-minded husband said to me when I came out of the news agent’s, doesn’t he look just like a Jesuit! He was looking in the direction of a well-known blue car. The Vicar !

It was Sunday and the Vicar had also paid a visit to the news agent, in a flurry, in a hurry, swishing past me in his winter working gear. All these clothes must keep him warm. A full-length ample gown, a type of cassock on top, a long pullover in between showing from under the cassock as did a belt, a beret to crown everything. All black. Tall, thin, slight stoop. Determined movements. Pale, lean, bony features dominated by nose and bushy eyebrows. Formidable. Awe-inspiring. He certainly impressed my husband. He put the accelerator down as he set off and must have arrived at his destination just a minute or two before the church wardens. There are two of them. One I only know by sight. We saw them both on our way home, one after the other, following the Vicar. They waved to me, looking serious, and my husband thought I had some excellent contacts really … The churchwardens were closely followed by a senior member of the choir who had the headmaster’s wife with him in his car. They gave us a smile and a wave. There must have been an important meeting somewhere.

What’s the real man? my husband wondered, still thinking about the Vicar: the friendly, socially-minded chatty person whom one meets at coffee mornings or bumps into on walks or the towering, sombre figure we had just seen. One of the two must be a show! I told him which I thought was the real man and he found it hard to believe …