Re: Exodus 22:18

Brother… Of course you would not harm her or anyone. Why do you say such things?

Gideon shook his head, ”Correct, dear sister. I would not deign to harm someone.” Out of the corner of his eye a man dressed in liturgical vestments walked by. Young enough to be fresh out of seminary, he had a passing thought as to when the priest would be trained to walk separately from the rest of the parishioners. Turning back to Phoebe he added, ”Who didn’t deserve punishment.” Gideon stroked his beard a few times, ”And let’s not count Thomas Moorehead. Any good Puritan would know he’s already damned to hell.”

All of the time cooking at The Drunken Duck and doing God’s work at the church along with Phoebe’s nursing meant they spent far less time together than at any point in their lives. Chores still got done, their place no less immaculate. Though he could not bring himself to openly say it, Phoebe had been doing just fine without his close supervision.

The woman who appeared to be cast from porcelain seemed to be on her way but instead asked Phoebe and him to stay for a few minutes. Gideon piped up in response to Silvana’s question, ”Massachusetts. We were on our way to Africa when God struck me ill, forcing my sister and I to disembark in Venice while father continued the voyage.” He looked for any signs of the gondola before continuing, ”So far I like it better than I expected. Are you…”, Gideon stopped himself upon realizing he didn’t know the woman’s name and gave her a small bow, ”How rude of me not to introduce myself. Gideon Morse, and this is my sister Phoebe.”

word count: 297
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