“Easier perhaps, but not simple, it’s far from simple, you mention “us” but I am not sure who “us” is. I wrote names on a piece of paper,” Tompkins pointed to the table, “and I am having doubts already about the loyalties of some of those people.”

        Ralphie looked at the names and nodded.

        “You know, Tomcat,” he said, “I read these names and I remember things they’ve said, which struck me as odd, but I never thought anymore of it until now.”

        “Any examples that come to mind, Ralphie?”

        “Well, yes, the Rev Green made a comment about the people who make curries as making food that is the same colour as themselves, which he said was ironic.”

        “Ironic, more like racist,” said Tompkins rubbing his chin thoughtfully, “I wonder why a man of the cloth would say that?”

        “Yes, he also said the only food he disliked more than curry was borscht and those Polish sausages. He couldn’t remember the name.”

        “Interesting, I used to think that and then I tried two of those sausages and I wolfed them down, woof, wonderful stuff, fault could not be found. Anyway, enough of my appetite. Those are interesting comments coming from a man who is meant to spread love throughout the world. Love your neighbour and all that.”

        “I agree, Tomcat, makes you think his heart isn’t in it, perhaps?”

        “Either that or he’s putting on an act, putting on a show for his parishioners, ah Smithers, glad you could join us.”

        “I didn’t get much sleep, to be honest,” said Smithers stretching and yawning like a cat, who’d just woken, “Filly was snoring so loudly.”

        Tompkins’s laughter reverberated around the room. He slapped his knee and tears threatened to roll down his face.