Part 3 Chapter 1
The priest finds himself comfortable and cared for in his new accommodation, that of the caring arms of Mr. Lehr and his sister, Miss Lehr. They both are critical of Catholicism for its idleness and the priest begins to fall into his old feelings of guilt when he thinks about how others are suffering, such as his daughter and the mestizo, whilst he is carefree.
He arrives at the local town and is greeted warmly by everyone. He learns that they haven’t had a priest for three years and numerous people are therefore eager to have him baptise their children and hear their confessions. He negotiates a price of one peso fifty for each child baptised and he begins to question himself and how quickly he is falling back into his old ways.
He then, whilst drinking with the barkeep, decides to be a bit more generous and only charge one peso per baptism. He also, whilst hearing the confessions, struggles to pay attention as he is bored by their mediocrity.
He then, the next day, decides to ride off to the larger town of Las Casas after saying mass. However, when he goes to pick his mule, he sees the mestizo. He claims that the gringo has been shot and they need a priest to hear his final confessions. The priest is aware this is a trap, as hearing the aforementioned confessions will force him over the border, but he argues with himself that it is his duty and, though he is safe, he is unable to rid himself of the guilt that constantly looms over him.
Going to Las Casas will not fix that, so why bother fretting over the return. One his way out of town, he gives all of the money he earned from the baptisms to the schoolteacher, telling the mestizo that he knows that, where he is going, money is not needed.
The Power and The Glory
During a vicious persecution of the clergy in Mexico, a worldly priest, the ‘whisky priest’, is on the run. With the police closing in, his routes of escape are being shut off, his chances getting fewer. But compassion and humanity force him along the road to his destiny, reluctant to abandon those who need him, and those he cares for.