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October 1961

No Case Is Hopeless

The pigeon, a deaf mute who knew no English, "got the message" through a Latin Bible

ONE Friday night I received a phone call from one of the padres in my area. He asked me to call on a young fellow in his parish who had not drawn a sober breath for a couple of years, and whose mother was becoming desperate. It was very late and very wet, but I agreed to go. After a search I found the place, a small dilapidated cottage with no light showing. I started to leave, but something prompted me to return and knock on the door. Eventually a light went on and an eerie, unintelligible sound came from inside. My feelings at that moment were everything an alky's feelings should not be. A moment or two later I heard another voice, that of a woman with a foreign accent. There was quite a commotion before the door was finally opened and I was confronted by an old lady in very shoddy nightdress and a man of between thirty and thirty-five in nothing but a pair of underpants, and very much "under the weather."

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