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I Can't

The church was built by the Amish just after the Great War. They wanted refuge from progress and the contagion brought home by the returning soldiers. Progress and the virus both spread through the countryside that year and the Amish thought both a kind of sickness. But later in the 20s they abandoned Everton when the first railroad began to bring city people looking for cool in the summer and the mountain air in the fall. So the church changed hands again and again over the years. First Episcopalians, then Latter Day Saints and finally Catholic. The townspeople thought God didn’t much care. The gospel’s the same no matter who’s preaching it and sinners all kneel the same anyway. The church had a bell with a rope. For years the clergyman would ring once at noon, twice at dusk and three times at midnight to end one day and begin another. The priest in 1946 was an old man. He was pious and tender but drank too much. When he said mass each dawn his hands trembled until he drank
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Through a Hole in a Wall

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