Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
When the new priest, young János Bélyi, arrives in Glogova, prospects for an enjoyable life are extremely dim. The little Hungarian town is a forlorn place where impoverished peasants live out their lives trying to get as much as possible out of the poor soil. No provisions are made for the priest’s subsistence, and church property is almost nonexistent. While the priest contemplates the fact that he will have to eat less and pray more, the situation becomes more critical with the arrival of his baby sister. His parents died and somebody decided to send little Veronica to her nearest relative, the priest; thus, a baby in a basket is suddenly put at the doorstep of his modest home. In order to find a solution to his problems, he takes a prayerful walk.
A heavy rain begins to fall. Suddenly he remembers the baby, still lying in front of his house, and he is certain the child will be soaking wet before he can arrive. To his surprise he finds her completely dry, protected by an old red umbrella. The priest cannot imagine who was so kind to his little sister; however, the townspeople soon find all sorts of explanations. Since the only stranger seen lately is an old Jew, the peasants come to the conclusion that St. Peter came to show his mercy for the poor child.
At the next funeral on a rainy day the priest uses the red umbrella. The men carrying the coffin stumble, and the supposedly dead man, who was merely in a trance, becomes very much...
(The entire section is 1549 words.)
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