By Henry Kuttner
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Confession is an important ritual of the Catholic Church, providing absolution of sin and religious suggestions to the devoted. but this historical sacrament has additionally been a resource of controversy and oppression, culminating, as prize-winning historian John Cornwell unearths at midnight field, with the scandal of clerical baby abuse.
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If it does, you collect my soul. If not——" Fenwick made an airy gesture. "I win," he said. "Oh, it has an end," the devil said, somewhat grimly. "It’s just that right now I’d rather not undertake such a long-term investment. You wouldn’t care for immortality, Fenwick. " "I don't see why you're so set on immortality," the devil said a little peevishly, tapping the point of his tail on the carpet. "I'm not," Fenwick told him. "Actually, it's just a byproduct. There happen to be quite a number of things I’d like to do without suffering the consequences, but——" "I could promise you that," the devil put in eagerly.
Except myself? Inside me, listening, is there another Honest Roger Bellamy? I don’t know. Maybe he’s the only real part of me. I go along the best I can, and it doesn’t do any good. Maybe the Bellamy inside of me doesn't like what I do. But I have to do it. I can’t stop. I was born a Head-Hunter. It’s a great heritage to be born to. Who doesn't envy me? Who wouldn't change with me, if they could? But it doesn’t do any good at all. I’m no good. Listen to me, Bellamy, listen to me, if you're there at all, deep inside my head.
All I want is immortality," Fenwick said, with a pleased smile. "I wonder why no one has ever thought of this before. In my opinion it’s foolproof. Come, come, now, make up your mind. " "Oh no," the devil said hastily. "It’s just that—— Look here, Fenwick. " "Exactly. The question is, will it ever have an end. If it does, you collect my soul. If not——" Fenwick made an airy gesture. "I win," he said. "Oh, it has an end," the devil said, somewhat grimly. "It’s just that right now I’d rather not undertake such a long-term investment.