“I’m sorry to disturb you Reverend Lockwood, but can I speak to you?”
“You can, lad. Come in out of the cold. Sit yourself by the fire.”
Gledhill entered and saw Lockwood’s dinner on the table with his knife and fork at angles on the plate, indicating that his meal was still in process.
“I’ve caught you in the middle of your dinner. I can come back if ... ”
Lockwood cut him off with a raised hand, “There’s no need to do that, lad. My dinner’s always a cold cut on Sundays, so it won’t spoil.” He covered his dinner with a plate and sat at the opposite side of the fireplace from Gledhill. “How can I help you? It’s Seth Gledhill, isn’t it?”
“That’s right, Mister Lockwood.”
“You don’t come to chapel, I notice. And I believe you don’t go to Saint Matthew’s in your village.”
“No, Mister Lockwood, I don’t. I suppose you know why I don’t.”
“I’ve a fair idea, lad. Not many mill workers go to church or chapel these days. I wish they would, but they don’t. Anyway, what brings you to my door? ” He leaned into the fireplace and poked the fire, raising flames to warm Gledhill.
“There’s something I need to talk about with you.”
“Alright, Mister Gledhill. What is it?”
“Is talking to you like talking to a priest?”
“What do you mean, Seth?”
“Is what we talk about kept just between the two of us?”
“What people tell me is confidential. Whatever you tell me will go with me down into the grave. I give you my word on that, Seth. You don’t mind me...
... middle of paper ...
...d such like, then I am sure that God will approve.”
“We’ve tried all that, but nothing ever comes of it. What do you think God would say about what we might be driven to when asking nicely hasn’t done any good and even worse things might happen? We have asked repeatedly of master and government, but every time we do, things only get worse, never better. New laws are made that put us further under the heels of masters and they grind our faces ever deeper into the muck. We are beginning to think that nothing will do any good unless we rise against them. If we do rise, what would God think about that?”
“It all depends on what you mean by rise. What do you have in mind?” Lockwood suspected that Gledhill knew more than he was letting on, but did not want to probe too deeply.
“Reverend, we’ve asked until we’re sick of asking, and now we’re sick of being ignored. Masters
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