Father O'Reilly and I began our descent. We could hear the voices, getting louder and louder, and, we could feel the dampness of the day.

The stairway itself was very narrow and steep, it was designed for maintenance of the bell. It was also very dark, just past where the daylight from the screening ended... We were down about 20 stairs, when we found that the stairs from there down, were submerged in water. That meant that the water had continued to rise.

We also knew that it could be difficult if even possible to open the door of the stairway into the church. We did not know what to do. The Father was a bit aged, and, I could not expect him to get into the water to see what could be done. I was worried about myself, but, one of us had to make an attempt.

I told him that I would go under and see what I could feel in the murky waters. I advised him to ascend the stairs, but, he would not go back up. He instead went up a few stairs and seated himself, as he began to pray. This made me feel more courage, and, I stood there looking at the water with disdain, gathering my senses, that I might make the plunge...

Into the water I went. It was cold, but, not too cold. There was no visibility at all. I had a difficult time pushing myself down, and, kept hitting stairs, the walls and such. I did not get far before I had to go back up for air. How was I going to do this?

The Father asked me how it was going. I told him. He did not respond. He just sat there looking at me, and not.

I came up a couple of stairs and sat there. I was chilly. I so wanted to get down there and see what was what. But, could I? I looked around at the top of the stairs as if there were an answer up there. There was nothing. I was thinking that if I could find some pipe or something, maybe I could make some sort of breathing apparatus.

I told the Father what I was thinking. He suggested we go and look. Up the stairs we went. It was getting rather dark outside. Oh, what a day!

We looked around, and, nothing. I was discouraged, chilled, and, tired as they come. The Father told me to rest and take it easy for a while. He told me that God would provide an answer. I knew he was right, and, curled up on the top step, trying to warm myself. At least it was warm out, so, maybe I would dry fast.

I fell asleep. I dreamt of terrible happenings. I dreamt of pain, sorrow, and, of this reality....

More in coming posts... Stay tuned...

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