Since arriving in Kambi and encountering and finally accepting the reality of a wooden
church sitting on a concrete bunker full of wine bottles, Padre Pietro had stopped
wondering how it got there and started agonizing over what to do with it. He could not
haul it out and present it to the Bishop before he understood how, by whom and why it
was there. Without Father Angelo to shed some light on it, all he could do was speculate.
Perhaps Father Angelo had received the wine as a gift from some high-profile sinner in
exchange for indulgences. Alternatively, he had cornered the market on altar wine and
was hoarding the stock for when it would fetch a handsome profit for the church. It was
unlikely Father Angelo would have left it behind had the wine been for his own

He wondered just how many bottles there were. How much of the project funds had gone
into building and stocking such an extensive wine cellar? Little wonder there was no
money left to complete the rest of the church. It was a miracle how the wine had survived
the pipe thieves and the vandals, but the fact that it was still there, close to a year after
Father Angelo’s departure, was a credit to Savio’s integrity and devotion to duty.

He would start by auditing the wine cellar, if he ever got around to doing what he came
here to do. For now, he had to decide what to do with his new best friends. Reason said
to ease them out, lock up the church, and seal off the wine cellar. Caution said to treat
them with the same generosity they had shown towards him. He could do with such
friends in Kambi, men who saw him as a man, as one of them. They may hold the keys to
the many doors he needed to open before he could go home. They may also be just who
he needed to help him find the Bishop’s missing sheep. Besides, it was Christmas, a
time for joy and merriment, a time for sharing and caring..




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226 Pages
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Book Code:    CWT

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