Tink tink tink . . . The little yellow screwdriver rang against the side of the Cora's mug as Father Nicholas Smithson sat silently in the rectory kitchen.

"Why so glum, Nick?"

Father Nicholas Smithson looked up from staring into his coffee mug to see his good friend walking in. "I was hearing confession, Gus."

"Well, it was your turn."

"I know, and I'm happy to provide the service. I still miss my parishioners in London, and this is a small way to be a part of the life of this community. But I'm afraid I may have to stop."


"Because it happened again today. Someone didn't want the sacrament; they had a job offer for Nicholas Smithson, expert on up-timers. "

"Again? I am so sorry Nick. It's so sad that people want to throw money at you. It's not like you were a Benedictine or something."

"They were demeaning the sacrament and the sanctuary of the church. Did not Christ himself overturn the money changers?"

"He did." Gus nodded, grinning.

"And when I do attempt to do research, I am pummeled with requests beyond what any man can do. It is not as though I am the only researcher in the library."

"Yes, Nick. But you are the only author of How Not to Think Like a Redneck. That may be the best selling book in Europe."

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