The round tone of bells spilled across crop lines and fanned out over a low rise toward town. The spire of the One True Presbyterian Church nudged low-hanging cloud banks, and late parishioners slipped in across the granite stoop. Double doors folded closed as a final knell floated down and away. Chester sat crammed into the pew between Doris and Mother, each having claimed an arm to ensure his sinner’s pelt arrived on time and in place to sop up Pastor’s weekly catechism. Chester cast his glance over the backs of heads and well-dressed shoulders– the good folk of Host Town, scrubbed of workday grime and come to rouse the spirit with hymn. Chester thought with longing of his pipe back home in the workroom and sighed, shifting to find a more comfortable position on the hard wooden bench. Mother’s scowl pronounced disapproval on the periphery, and Chester sighed again.

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