The Vatican man, a priest whose name was Doherty, wanted to know the details of the murder Alessandro had committed, the killing of the child, the saint.
When Doherty arrived for his first visit, he and the penitent sat together on a stone bench in the monastery garden where Alessandro was working. The priest asked his questions, and Alessandro replied easily, since he had answered these or similar questions before in testimony given over the years. The priest had an accent—English or American, Alessandro thought—and spoke rapidly, as if he wanted to finish and be somewhere else. He did not appear the next day, and on the day after that—the second visit—stayed only ten or fifteen minutes. They were in the Superior’s office that time, the old bishop, Father Zecca, having left his room to them; and it was then, on the occasion of the second visit, just before leaving, that the priest, the canon lawyer, raised the question of memory.