Sabbatical, Part Four
12 february 1990
I was sitting on a park bench in Frankfurt, reading a newspaper, when a man smoking a cigarette sat down next to me. I was certain I knew who it was, so I didn't bother looking up.
"They say now those things will kill you," I said, turning the page.
"I should be so lucky," he replied, in Spanish. I folded the paper down and turned to look at him.
"Tadzio. Come to see the new German state?" I switched to Spanish, as well.
"There's always a new German state." I snorted and lifted the newspaper again.
"You've always been miserable company in times of change."
"All times are times of change."
"I stand by my words." He laughed, extinguishing his cigarette.
"Bene, I hear you've caused quite the commotion in America."
"How do you hear about these things? Weren't you excommunicated?"
"Nearly five hundred years ago. You and I both know I have made other connections in that time." I folded my newspaper and tucked it into my bag.
"I suppose you have some thoughts on the matter, then?"
"Your style was inelegant, but I respect the need. I understand you were left with little choice." I grunted in agreement and reached back into my bag, pulling out a long American-style sandwich. I offered him half, and after looking at it for a moment he shrugged and held out his hand to take it. I took a bite from my half as I looked at the people walking by.
"Do you know who they are?"
"Did you not eliminate them all?" he asked between bites.
"Not everyone was there. And things like these are not so easily destroyed." He nodded, chewing.
"Is this why you continue to investigate something the Vatican told you to leave alone?"
"Do you know them?" He chuckled.
"I suppose I shouldn't pry yet. I don't know them, but I know someone who may." He reached into his jacket and produced a small card with an American phone number and the name 'Henry M.' on it. "Listen, I'm just passing through, but when I return, I will hear more about this, yes?" I nodded.
"Of course, old friend." He stood, straightened his jacket, and waved at me with the sandwich as he began to walk away.
"Thank you for lunch. See you soon."
"By your years, or by mine?" I called after him. He simply waved, disappearing into the crowd. I sighed and leaned back in my seat to finish my sandwich and watch the people pass.
Evidence compiled for use during the trial of Father Benedict de Monte.
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