* * *
A meeting convened at the Bishop’s house. The Bishop, Viceroy Fonseca, Fr. Kane, Marcos and the others were all seated. There was a grim atmosphere. A long silence followed as they nervously shifted gaze from one person to another.
The Viceroy spoke out slowly. ‘There is no way we can turn back time. What do you suggest, your Lordship?’
The Bishop looked at him hard. ‘It’s bad what happened. I am sure the King won’t like the way the situation took a turn. Lots of innocent people lost their lives. There is bound to be a reprisal from the pagans and before that happens, it would be a good idea to reinforce the palace and have a purification ceremony.’ He turned towards Fr. Kane. ’Padre, 3 weeks from now, the period of penance begins. I want you to stage ‘Santos Passos’. It should begin from the town and end in the Church courtyard. Please make arrangements. Display posters, make announcements in market places; I want as big a crowd as possible and on an extravagant scale. Leave no stone unturned to host it.’