Father Moonwall walked down Perdido Street, toward the Cathedral of the Builder, noticing a man in a tall stovepipe hat, dressed entirely in black, tapping around on the cobbles. Moonwall stopped to look at him, frowning, this was a criminal squandering of time.
The man looked over at Moonwall, who flared his nostrils angrily. The man tapped the ground again a few times, smiling at the priest as he did so. “Do you hear that?” he asked.
“Do I hear exactly what?” Moonwall asked. In answer, the man tapped the cobbles again.
Moonwall puffed up his chest. “I hear the tapping walking stick of a patent fool. Nothing more.”
The man smiled wider. “I fear your hearing is going, old man. You hear not that hollow sound accompanying the taps?” He tapped once more. Moonwall listened. He could hear no hollow accompaniment.
“You are wasting my time. And your own. Get a job, sir.” the priest huffed, striding toward the church. The man followed beside him, tapping as he went.
“The hollow sound follows this way, toward the church I suspect is your destination. Is it possible a chamber sits beneath this street?”
Still walking, Moonwall said, “Many things are possible, sir, this does not mean they are my concern.”
“Certainly,” said the man. “But if the chamber leads to your church, would that mean the chamber belongs to your church?”
Moonwall stopped. “If there were a chamber beneath the church, I would certainly be aware of it.” he said, but inside, he wondered. He wondered about that.
The man smiled again… or had he ever ceased smiling in the first place. “What lost treasures might be hidden away in such a chamber… it rather fills one with abject curiosity, does it not?”
Moonwall turned away. “No, sir, it does not.” he said, but he lied.
For it did, brothers and sisters, it certainly did.