Stained Glass (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic)

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9781410422699: Stained Glass (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic)
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Father Dowling became the pastor of St. Hilary’s years ago. After a crisis of faith and a serious bout with alcoholism‚ the position was a saving grace. Now tough economic times have put the church is on the chopping block. Father Dowling r

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About the Author:

Ralph McInerny has authored more than fifty books, including his popular mystery series set at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught for more than fifty years and is the director of the Jacques Maritain Center. The recipient of the Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement Award, he has also been appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He lives in South Bend, Indiana.

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Stained Glass
Part One1Tetzel of the Fox River Tribune sat morosely in the pressroom at the courthouse seriously contemplating taking the pledge. He could remember the night before up to a certain point and then things went blank. He had come awake with a sore neck and a throbbing headache sitting at his desk in the pressroom and had no idea how he had ended up there. His hand lifted to massage his brow and tipped his hat from his head. When he stooped to pick it up off the floor, he nearly blacked out. The hat kept moving away from his groping hand. He sat back in his chair, hatless, and closed his eyes. Someone entered."The top of the morning to you, Tetzel."There was no need to open his eyes to know that it was Tuttle. He heard the little lawyer collapse in a chair whose squeak went through Tetzel's nervous system like a laser."Stop rocking, damn it.""You're not feeling well.""Could you whisper?""You should have left when I did, Tetzel."The reporter opened one eye, the one nearer to Tuttle. "Were you there?""Everyone was there.""When did you leave?""Just after my curfew."Tetzel considered asking Tuttle where "there" was, or had been, but he was at enough of a disadvantage already. "I feel awful.""Better come across the street."For a remedial drink? Minutes before, Tetzel would have found the suggestion emetic. Now it seemed only sensible. "Hand me my hat."Tuttle swept it up and stood. He put the hat on Tetzel's head and helped him rise. He guided the reporter down the hall to the elevator, steered him inside, and pressed a button. Tetzel felt that he was leaving his stomach on the floor they had left. His body broke out in a cold sweat. Vague memories of sobriety teased his mind. Once he had been a clearheaded reporter, a model for youngsters, a legend because of the novel he was allegedly writing. They arrived safely on the ground floor; the doors slid open, and Tetzel hung back. Before him, in the lobby of the courthouse, were busy men and women, hurrying this way and that. Tetzel was sure that each and every one of them could give a clear account of the way he had spent the previous night. Tuttle urged him forth, and they crossed the black and white marble squares to the revolving doors. They actually entered together, a tight fit, but Tetzel wondered if he would have dared the door on his own.Outside was more normalcy, sunlight, traffic, horns, the usually inaudible roar of the city. Tuttle wisely took his charge to the corner, and they crossed with the light. Ahead lay the friendly confines of the Jury Room.Once inside, Tuttle's grip on his arm loosened and Tetzel moved like a zombie toward a far booth, as far from sunlight as any in the room. At the bar, Tuttle ordered a Coke for himself and a Bloody Mary for Tetzel. The bartender was watching Tetzel. The reporter looked as if he were one of the Flying Wallendas negotiating a ropehigh above a circus audience. His arms were extended for better balance."He going to be sick?""He is sick.""Put him in the men's room.""Now, now, Portia, that's no way to treat a steady customer.""He isn't steady.""He will be."Tuttle swept up the drinks, called, "Tetzel's tab," over his shoulder, and walked carefully to the booth. He put Tetzel's drink before him and slid into the seat across from him. The reporter was contemplating the Bloody Mary."Tell me about last night.""What's to tell?""You don't remember," Tetzel said accusingly. He lowered his lips to the plastic straw and his cheeks hollowed. He inhaled half the drink before sitting back. A moment passed. Color came back to Tetzel's face. Another moment and he sighed. "I needed that."Tuttle advised against a repetition of the remedy. With his synapses responding, Tetzel was inclined to dispute the point. Tuttle opened the newspaper he had taken from the bar, turning the pages with an indifference that annoyed Tetzel."Good Lord," Tuttle cried."What?" Tetzel asked, trying to signal Portia."They plan to tear down St. Hilary's."STAINED GLASS. Copyright © 2009 by Ralph McInerny. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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