On his way out of the kitchen, he ran headlong into Father McFlannery. “Forgive me, Father, I guess I should watch where I am going next time.” John’s apology was more on the side of groveling, and with him in the house, you could never apologize enough. John would probably owe Father McFlannery another after inhaling the noxious fumes from the fire.
“What happened in here?” Father McFlannery asked through the stale clouds of smoke. John was relieved for now, fortunately the smoke got to him before the soot-covered walls could be seen. “Sister Joan and I had a bit of an accident, but it has been taken care of.” John would have left the kitchen, but Father McFlannery stopped him at the door. “Wait one moment, John, there is something I wish to discuss with you and Sister Joan.” He said.
“What is it, Father?” Sister Joan asked scouring the bits of pancake still stuck to the frying pan. “The dinning room is in shambles, and I want to know what happened in there?” Father McFlannery quickly switched from one subject to another, he stood over the two of them, pursing his lips in anger. “I would just like to know which one of you is responsible for this mess?” He scolded them.
“Honestly, Father, all Father St. Moritz and I were doing was setting the table for breakfast, I realize it is not something the vicar and I do every day, but no harm was done.” Sister Joan said glancing over at John. “Since neither one of you seems to know what I am talking about . . . then come with me I will show you!” Sister Joan left the frying pan in the sink and followed John into the dinning room with Father McFlannery. Sister Joan gasped in horror when she saw the destruction of the dinning room, someone or something left the room in complete annihilation. The dinning table was turned over onto its back and the bric-a-brac china was thrown out of the hutch scattered on the floor in little pieces. Sister Gertrude’s center piece, which she designed not even two weeks ago, was also destroyed, and the Tulips, which she so lovingly grew from her garden, set in the vase, were now wilted and smashed up against the wall. Her vase, which was a family heirloom, was broken into pieces on the floor much like the bric-a-brac along with candlesticks from the table, which adorned the sides of the centerpiece, were broken in half.
“Now would one of you please, tell me how all of this happened?” Father McFlannery charged. First he looked at Sister Joan. “Don’t look at me, Father, I don’t know how this happened, it didn’t look anything like this when I came out of the kitchen to help John. Neither one of us saw what happened.” Sister Joan shrugged. Father McFlannery stared suspiciously at John, it was as if he believed he had something to do with the destruction of the dinning room. “John, is this true, were you in the kitchen with Sister Joan when it happened?” Father McFlannery questioned him again. “Of course it isn’t true, why would I have torn up this room; I am not a criminal!” John yelled. ‘If you had nothing to do with this, then does your bedroom look as though a cyclone hit it?” Father McFlannery posed an interesting question, too bad John couldn’t answer him, but he was going to try his best to explain. “Honestly, Father, I had nothing to do with this one, while I was in the kitchen helping Sister Joan put out the fire in the kitchen, someone could have easily snuck in here and ransacked the place.” This was the most logical response he could think of, but he himself, wasn’t even sure of it.
“And what about your room, John, how do you explain that?” Father McFlannery folded his arms across his chest. “I can’t explain it, all I know is that I didn’t do it!” John felt guilty for losing his temper at Father McFlannery, but he knew what he could be like at times; they never did see eye to eye on certain matters, but they managed to get along.
“Father, don’t you think you’re being a little hard on the boy? If he said he didn’t do it, then he didn’t.” Sister Joan calmly interjected. “If it wasn’t John, then it must have been one of those hoodlums that are always traipsing in and out of here all during the day!” The curmudgeonly Father McFlannery groused. “Father, but their just children.” Sister Joan gently reminded him. “Teenagers with criminal records are more like it. I wouldn’t put this incident passed any one of them; from now on you will entertain them somewhere else!” Father McFlannery didn’t wait around for breakfast, instead he tossed on his coat and stormed out of the parish house.
“Pay no mind to him, John, I’m certain he didn’t mean it.” Sister Joan tried her best to reassure him. “Would it kill him to be a little nicer to me, Sister Joan?” John remarked. “Don’t think about that right now, Father, let’s just get this mess cleaned up before he returns from the university.” Sister Joan said with broom and dust pan in hand.