"Callers are the devil--I mean, the devil of a nuisance," the inspector remarked.

"You see, you can get rid of them," the clergyman said.  "But we have to be patient.  'Offend not one of these little ones, lest a millstone is hanged about his neck.'  Patience, sympathy, help.  A word in season bringeth forth his fruit gladly."

The air stirred about him to the question.  "And do these cause you fear?"

"Oh, not fear! by no means fear!"  Mr.  Batesby said.  "Though, of course, sometimes one has to be firm.  To pull them together.  To try and give them a backbone.  I have known some poor specimens.  I remember meeting one not far from here.  He looked almost sick and yellow, and I did what I could to hearten him up."

"Why was he looking so bad?" the inspector asked.

"Well, it was a funny story," Mr.  Batesby said, looking meditatively through the stranger, who was leaning against the inn wall, "and I didn't quite understand it all.  Of course, I saw what was wrong with him at once.  Hysteria.  I was very firm with him.  I said, 'Get a hold on yourself.'  He'd been talking to a Wesleyan."

Mr.  Batesby paused long enough for the inspector to say, with a slight frown, "I'm almost a Wesleyan myself," gave him a pleasant smile as if he had been waiting for this, and went on: "Quite, quite, and very fine preachers many of them are.  But a little unbalanced sometimes -- emotional, you know.  Too much emotion doesn't do, does it?  Like poetry and all that, not stern enough.  Thought, intelligence, brain -- that's what helps.  Well, this man had been saved -- he called it saved, and there he was as nervous as could be."

"What was he nervous about if he'd been saved?" the inspector asked idly.

Mr. Batesby smiled again.  "It seems funny to say it in cold blood," he said, "but, do you know, he was quite sure he was going to be killed?  He didn't know how, he didn't know who, he didn't know when.  He'd just been saved at a Wesleyan mission hall and he was going to be killed by the devil.  So I heartened him up."

The inspector had come together with a jerk; the young stranger was less energetic and less observable than the flowers in the inn garden behind him.

Charles Williams
War in Heaven (1930)
Chapter Thirteen “Conversations of the Youngman in grey”

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