Sunday, May 21, 2017

Assisi - Rome

May 22, 2017 Peace and Good, Our meeting in Assisi went very well. When I got home to Rome, I was able to work up a set of minutes for the three day meeting along with a number of different addenda from other side meetings that we had in those days. This last week has been a meeting of our monthly definitory. This time the agenda was not packed, so we actually finished early. Today I have a couple of writing project that I must finish if possible, and tomorrow morning I head out to Padua for a few meetings on various topics. Padua is up in the north, not too far from Venice. It is only a few hours by train. I will meet with the editors of the magazine for which I write (the Messenger of St. Anthony) and then with the heads of the charity organization called Caritas Antoniana to see whether they might be able to help Franciscans International. One of my jobs is to be a liason between various groups to help each of them do its job better. The weather has turned quite warm. We have even had early summer thunderstorms in these days. We have a new guardian in our community: fr. Francesco Celestino. He is from Calabria, the toe of the boot of Italy. He was the custos down there, but their chapter was coming up and his job there would have ended. Our previous guardian was called back by his home province so that he might be the vicar (number two man) there. I have finished some books and articles: History of Hitler’s Empire by Thomas Childers This is a teaching company course (twelve lectures) on the history of the rise and fall of Hitler’s regime. This topic could easily have used double the lectures, for some of the stading lectures seem a bit rushed and enormous amounts of detail are sandwitched into the available space. Nevertheless, the presentations are good and thoughtful. In the Dark of the Night by John Saul This is a horror story in which a doctor collects the implements that mass murderers used to conduct their evil task. He dismantles them so that they will lose their mystic power. After he died, his lake side house is rented out to a family, and their son and his friends begin to reassemble the objects which reacquire their power which results in a series of murders. This is the first time I have read something written by John Saul, and I have to say I liked his style and would read more of his writings. The Bully Pulpit by Doris Dearns Goodwin This is a rather long account of the relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. They started out the best of friends, but ended up running for president against each other in 1912 when Roosevelt bolted from the party and formed a progressive party. They fought against each other, ending in the election of Wilson. The relationship was only healed much later. Ostensively, the title of the book has to do with Roosevelt’s relationship with the press. That is handled well, but it is not really the central topic of the book. Nevertheless, the book is well worth reading. Lonely Vigil: Coast watchers of the Solomons by Walter Lord Lord is famous for writing well-resourced accounts of events such as the sinking of the Titanic or the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk during World War II. This is another World War II account about the coast watchers (Australian, British and American) who resided on islands in the Solomon chain (in which one finds Guadalcanal) and reported to those higher up the movement of ships and planes. This gave timely warning to bases that were about to be bombed or to contingents that might have to defend themselves against enemy troop landings. This was a highly dangerous work, often behind enemy lines. One had to deal with jungle and sometimes hostile local populations (although many of the locals gave heroic assistance to the coast watchers). This is a true story that reads like a spy novel. Ivory’s Ghosts: The White Gold of History and the Fate of Elephants by John Frederick Walker From ancient times, people have used ivory as a gem, as a material to use for decoration, for worship, etc. Most ivory used has come from the elephant, although some has come from hippo, walrus, etc. This mostly involved the death of the elephant (although in early years much came from elephants that has already died and whose remains lay scattered on the ground. The trade was also long associated with the slave trade, for locals were captured by Arab traders to carry the ivory to the coast where it and they were then sold. This was a horrendous trade that led to the deaths of countless people and elephants. This book tells the story of the use and trade of ivory. It is not a sentimental work but rather is highly practical in its approach (e.g. in dealing with the question of a total ban on ivory trading which has led to unfortunate consequences for the local populations both of people and elephants). Mad Science by Mark McClusky The subject of this article is a man who is using scientific discoveries and apparatus to cook food. This includes vacuum pumps, centrifuges, etc. He has produced a massive cook book of the very best techniques to acquire the absolute best flavor and texture for meals. The problem is that the techniques are often long and difficult, and other than a few enthusiasts, the cook book will probably only be used by a few. Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World by Ken Alibek Ken Alibek, the author of this account, was a chief scientist in the bioweapons effort of the old Soviet Union. He describes his and others attempts to weaponize the worst of all bacteria and viruses to be found, including smallpox, tularemia, Ebola, etc. While the Soviet Union constantly denied its existence, this program was extensive and often successful in their efforts. The effort continued into the present days (with Russia taking over the impetus) and it has spread to many other countries (e.g. North Korea, Iraq before the invasion, Iran, etc.) It is frightening in its consequences. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Chicago - Rome - Assisi

May 10, 2017 Peace and Good, I returned to Rome from Chicago on Monday, a week ago. The weather is changing and is quite nice right now. Thursday of this past week I went up to Assisi for a meeting of Franciscans International. I am on the Board of Directors of this organization. It is a lobbying group for all of the Franciscan families at the United Nations. They have offices in Geneva and New York. They do a lot of work fighting for human rights and for peace and against poverty. Every time I go to Assisi, it is like going home again. It is a beautiful town, and I would recommend that if anyone is coming to Italy, that person include it on his/her list of must sees. I often tell people that one could be lost in the allies of Assisi for five hours and never be afraid. I returned from Assisi yesterday and will be here in Rome until the beginning of June. Next week we have our definitory, and then I have a week with nothing scheduled. I will be able to catch up on some of my paperwork, with reports, daily reflections, and magazine articles. I finished some books: Without Mercy by Jack Higgins This is an account of the British secret department that battles the enemies of democracy with British, ex-IRA and American forces. In this volume of the series, the team battles an attempt by Putin in Russia to gain control of an oil empire by having an impersonator take the place of an assassinated oligarch. A sub-plot is the attempt of the Russian team to kill the members of this team who has foiled their plots in the past. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander This is the account of a near death experience by a neuro-surgeon who had a massive bacterial infection that stopped his brain activity for a week. He had always been a skeptic before when his own patients had recounted these types of events, but following his, he investigated reports of other near death experiences and found a remarkable similarity to what he experienced. He feels that this had to be real for there was absolutely no brain activity during his illness. The fact that he awoke from it after a week and that his memory and facilities returned slowly is a miracle in itself for people who are in a coma for that amount of time always suffer massive brain damage, which he did not. It is a good account which makes one think. Test-Tube Burgers by Michael Specter What if we could produce meat which did not come directly from animals. This article examines the attempt to find a technique to produce meat protein at a level that could eliminate much of the raising of animals (and their often cruel slaughter) by growing meat in the test tube. Right now this technique, while possible, is outrageously expensive. But with further research, it might be possible to do. One has to ask whether this technique, though, will ever reach the point in the near future that it will be used extensively. The Assassins by Alan Bardos This is the story of a young Englishman who is brash and is having an affair with his boss. The boss finds out and exiles him to a back waters – the Austro-Hungarian Empire just before the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. He ends up spying upon the assassins and almost saves the Archduke. This is very much written in the style of a number of spy and adventure novels written around 1900. The coincidences and the incredible talent (linguistic) of the Englishman are not believable. It is not a bad read, but not all that serious either. The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, from Utopia to Crisis and Collapse by Paul Cartledge This is the history of the marshal race in southern Greece which managed to stop or slow down the Persians at the pass in Thermopylae and who eventually defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian War. They lived a life of preparation for war, treating their neighbors as slaves who had no rights, even that of life (for one of the things a young Spartan would do was to blood himself by going out and killing one of the so-called Helots at his whim. Cartledge gives the positive aspects of their culture (e.g. being ruled by two kings who balanced each other) and their negative. The City Solution by Robert Kunzig We usually think of urban planning as getting as much green and recreation space within the city. We view life in the countryside as more positive than that in the city (less crime, cleaner air, more space, etc. The author of this study challenges these assumptions. He speaks of the advantages of living in close proximity to the communication of ideas, commerce, using less energy for less travel is required to arrive here or there, the greater use of mass transit. It gives an interesting perspective. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ellicott City - Chicago

April 27, 2017 This past week I finished off all of my doctors and dentist visits. All went well, so I am ready for another 50,000 miles. I always tell people that these are my 50,000 mile check ups, and unfortunately that is not all that far off the mark. On Sunday I travelled to Chicago to give a week workshop on the Letters of St. Paul to our postulants. This is the site for all of the men who are first entering our community. At the end of the program, if all goes well, they will enter novitiate which is also a year long program (held in Arroyo Grande, CA). At the end of that, they take their vows for a period of three years, etc. There are now 13 postulants, and they are a good group of men. We are covering one letter a day, and they have a million questions which I always like. I find I learn so much when I try to answer the questions, or at least have to research a bit to find an answer. I have also visited one of our Croatian friars who has been working in the diocese of Gary, IN. His name is Stefan, and I taught him many years ago in Rensselaer, NY. It was good to see him again. This stay is giving me the opportunity to catch up with a number of friars in the area. I finished some reading: Crowley, Roger Empires of the Sea by Roger Crowley This is a history of the interaction between the Christian world and the Ottoman Empire and its vassals in the Mediterranean during the 16th century. This includes the siege of Malta (which ended in a withdrawal by the Muslims) and the sea battle of Lepanto (which ended in a spectacular victory by the Christian forces which blunted the sea power of the Muslims and gave the rest of Europe breathing room to prepare their defense against the Muslim conquerors. The book is well written and actually exciting to read. The Writings of Francis of Assisi: Rules, Testament and Admonitions by Michael Blastic, Jay Hammond and Wayne Hellman This is a critical study of some of the writings of St. Francis. Our preparation for the writings of Francis was very poor when I was going through formation, and most of what I now know I have picked up along the way. This book uses many of the same techniques that I use in Bible study to examine the writings of Francis and what they meant to him and the friars reading them at his time. Mother Teresa: An Authorized Biography by Kathryn Spink I read this book in conjunction with the canonization of Mother Theresa. It is a well written account of the saint. The author tends to defend her positions, but is honest enough to admit that toward the end Mother suffered from the ravages of old age and some of her decisions might have been impetuous and poorly thought out. Nevertheless, it is fascinating to read about the heroic choice that Mother made initially in adopting this form of life, and how she lived it to the best of her ability right to the end. Ill Wind by David Kirby When we think about air pollution, we are usually thinking of factories and cars in the United States that occasionally produce the smog that troubles many of our cities. This author speaks of studies done to determine how much pollutions (especially toxic chemicals such as lead) come from the smoke stacks of China which is industrializing all the more. The scientists have found ways to measure it and to track the patterns that it travels around the world. The Chinese government is not always helpful in this analysis, but by taking wind samples from high altitudes (either mountains or planes) one can get a good read of what is really happening, and it is not comforting. The Second World War by Antony Beevoir Antony Beevor is a good English military historian. I have read a number of his books. This is a long overview of World War II. Most of it is from a European perspective, especially English at times. Nevertheless, it is a very good book, well worth the time and effort which such a long book requires. Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski This is not the first book that I have read that was written by Nagorski. I previously read a book written by him on Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. This book is a collection of the remembrances of American citizens who lived in Germany during the years in which Hitler came to power up to the expulsion of Americans when Germany declared war on the United States in 1941. It is a fascinating account of how diplomats and journalists tried to come to grips with what was happening. They almost all considered some of the things that Hitler did to be helpful (full employment, a stable economy), but as they came to discover the dark side of what he was doing, they came to hate and even loath him. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude

Friday, April 14, 2017

Rome - Ellicott City

April 14, 2017 Peace and Good, We finished our definitory meeting a day early in Rome, on Friday instead of Saturday. This was very good given that the past couple of meetings have been packed with things that took forever to resolve. Sunday I flew into Baltimore and have been in Ellicott City this week. I am here for medical check ups and a couple of small procedures. This happens when you reach a certain age. I tell people that you can tell the age of a tree by counting its rings, you can tell the age of a person by counting the medical referrals that the person receives at the annual check up. Doing all the travel I do, I was shocked by the incident on the United flight. I just don't see how the companies cannot guarantee that one can fly when one has made a reservation and paid for a ticket. That would be comparable to showing up at a hotel and being told that the reservation would not be honored. Something has to be done with all of this. Furthermore, I have experienced myself the indifference of United agents to the needs of their customers. I will fly up to Buffalo on Sunday to visit family for a couple of days, and then back to Baltimore to finish up the check ups. I finished some books: War, Peace and Power: Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500-2000 by Vejas Liulevicius This is a Teaching Company course on the various initiatives on diplomacy on the European continent from the time of the Tudors and Medicis up to the present days. The professor is well verse and eloquent. With a course this long, one really only touches the various eras quickly, but this serves as a good overview course on this topic. Father’s Day by Michael Connelly This is a Harry Bosch story about the death of a small child in an overheated car. Was it an accident or was the child left in the car on purpose. It is complicated by the fact that both parents are driven real estate salespersons, and by the fact that the child suffered from some mental defect. Harry is able to sort out the truth from the lies, especially relying on natural tells in the way a person says something (body language that gives away whether a person is lying or not). 1775: A Good Year for Revolution by Kevin Phillips This is a truly exhaustive study of the year 1775 and, as the author explains over and over again, how it was more important to the revolution than 1776. He gives a mountain of details on religious movements, agriculture, trade, politics, slavery and indentured servants, etc. It is a monumental study which leaves one with a wealth of information, possibly more than one ever wanted. Nevertheless, it does not really bog down in the details. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in this period. Crush Point by John Seabrook This is a scientific study on the science of crowd control. The author speaks of various disasters in religious processions (Mecca, India, etc.), at rock concerts and even in the Black Friday sales at Walmart. He speaks of various actions that can be taken by the authorities to minimize the danger to those in the crowd. The Brain on Trial by David Eagleman This is a scientific analysis of how brain chemistry and structure can affect the conduct of people. It asks the question of whether it is right to put people in prison for something that was beyond their control. It gives some very good examples. The author is not against letting the people who have offended run loose on the streets. He favors treatment (medicine, compulse control exercises) so that the person then becomes responsible for his/her actions. Winning by Alafair Burke This is the story of a woman detective who had been impersonating a prostitute to lure men so that they might be arrested for soliciting. She is kidnapped by one who rapes her. She overpowers him and has him arrested, but he is set free on bail. Her husband is crushed by what has happened and murders the man. The rest of the story is how the detective places the blame on herself, knowing that the courts would sympathize with her and let her off lightly. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude

Monday, April 3, 2017

Rome

April 4, 2017 Peace and Good, This past week I have been in Rome getting ready for our definitory meeting which began yesterday. The agenda for this week's meeting does not seem all that long, so we might even finish early. I will be heading back to the States this coming Sunday for some medical tests (nothing beg - just the usual tests and a small medical procedure which should not be all that important, but for which the doctor wants me in one place for 10 days to make sure there are no infections). For some reason, the jet lag from my last trip was just about the worst I have ever suffered. It might be the changing of the seasons, or my spring allergies, or just the fact that I am getting older. Whatever, I hope that this is not a sign of what is to come. The weather here in Rome is pleasant these days. We did have a thunder storm this past Sunday morning, which was unfortunate because it was the morning of the annual marathon. I have finished some reading: What a Wonderful World by Paul Guyot This is the story of a detective who goes off the deep end trying to investigate the murder of a hot dog vendor. She had caught his imagination by her zany antics and her unconquerable optimism. It is not that he was having an affair with her, but he certainly was smitten by her. When she is found murdered, he does everything in his power to find her killer, eventually even committing a crime to get even with the one responsible. Eye of the needle by Ken Follett One of the greatest tricks that the allies played on the Germans during World War II was to set up a fake army under the command of Patton right before the Normandy invasion. The placement of this virtual army was right across the channel from Brittany, which was one of the most likely landing sites for the invasion. This book proposes that there might have been one Nazi spy who had evaded the British Secret Service (which had captured most of the German spies and turned them into double agents) who visited the site of Patton’s army and found out the secret. Most of the book is the search for that agent by a small group of anti-espionage agents and his attempt to flee to a submarine to present evidence to the ever skeptical Hitler of his findings. Follett is not my favorite author, but this book is very, very well done. Pakistan on the Brink by Ahmed Rashid This is the third in a series of books on Afghanistan and Pakistan. The author speaks of how American policy has fallen short when dealing with Pakistan, especially during the Obama era (although he also traces many of the problems in the area to the presidency of Bush). He speaks of the role of the secret service in society, often all but running the state in secret. He speaks of the various insurgent groups and how Pakistan is all but falling apart as a nation. The book is a good primer on the situation there, even if reading or listening to it is terribly frustrating because it almost seems as if there is no way out of the mess. Great and Terrible King by Marc Morris This is the story of King Edward I of England who ruled at the end of the 13h century. You might remember him from the film Braveheart for he was Edward Longshanks (known this was because he was so tall). He was the first English monarch who conquered all of Scotland and Wales. He was good in certain ways (a legal system) but horrible in others (his conquests, his dishonesty, etc.). He lived a very long life for those times (68 years old). He was followed by a miserable son who lost much of what his father had conquered. The account is very well done and I would recommend it. The Korean Mind by Boye Lafayette Mente I read this book because I was doing the visitation of the Korean province. It has helped me understand how Koreans as a people think and why. As always, it is quite generic in the way it approaches this topic, but I was surprised how it explained certain things to me which puzzled me. One example is how courteous Koreans tend to be, unless they don’t know you. If you hail a cab on the street, it is not uncommon for a Korean to steal the cab, possibly even pushing you out of the way. They have long lived in close contact with others, so they developed a system in which your loyalties were owed to the family and not the outsider. The book was good, but also exhaustive. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude

Monday, March 27, 2017

Reno, NV - Hermosa Beach, CA - Ellicott City, MD - Rome, Italy

March 28, 2017 Peace and Good, I have been on the go for quite some time now, finishing off my visitation to the California province and then having a long meeting in Ellicott City with the heads of the various jurisdictions in our federation (Australia, Canada, US, Great Britain and Ireland). The visitation in California went quite well. I was able to give a couple of talks in the parish in Hermosa Beach and celebrated a couple of Masses on the weekend. I always feel very much at home when I visit that parish. Our meeting of the federation also went well, but by the end of the week I could feel that the batteries were drained. I am trying to take it slow for these first couple of days back in Rome to recharge things a bit. When I am out on visitation, I don't really feel that tired until towards the end for the effect seems to be cumulative. There were a lot of extremes in weather throughout the trip as well, and that tends to have an effect. I am in Rome for a week to catch up on some of my paperwork, and then we have a week of definitory. I will be heading back to the States on Palm Sunday and will be in the US for three weeks (two in Ellicott City and one in Chicago). On the trip over here from Baltimore, my seating was messed up on one flight and I missed the other flight due to delays in the arrival of the first flight to London. I was very impressed at the way that British Air resolved the problems. They tend to be very efficient. I finished some books: End of War: Europe, 1945 by Charles Whiting This account deals with the last months of the war, especially from the point of view of the war in northern Germany. We hear about Montgomery’s attack against the Germans in a push to the Baltic so that the English could block the Russians from the route to Denmark. We then hear of the end of the Nazi regime and of their surrender to the allied forces. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo This is a tragic account of families living in a slum outside of the Mumbai airport and how they struggle to survive. You hear about the constant bribery for everything that people want or need. This is especially true because the very people who want the bribes the most are those who should be protecting them (police, members of the justice system, etc.). One is left with a feeling of the pointlessness of the struggle, and yet many people hold on and not only survive but even find a way to thrive. The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill by Dominique Enright This is a collection of the witticisms of Churchill. He was brilliant and used language both for the good and for other purposes. He was able to disarm his opponents with clever expressions. He was not always kind but almost always funny. Venice: Pure City by Peter Ackroyd This is an impressive account of the history and culture and politics of the city of Venice. It is presented as the ultimate city built upon water. The author over and over again shows how this fact influenced the life and thought of those who were found there. This was theoretically a republic, but was actually much more of an aristocracy. The needs of the city were considered to be much more important than the rights of the individual. This was a center of great beauty, but also a closed, very mercantile society. The account is quite poetic and is quite elegant in its description. The World of Byzantium by Kenneth Harl This is one of the Teaching Company’s courses. This one covers the history of the Roman Empire in the East from the time of Constantine the emperor until the fall of Constantinople which became Istanbul. It covers both the history and the culture and politics of this empire. Some of it is extraordinarily magnificent, while other episodes are sadly decadent and sordid. The course is well done and well worth the effort. St. Paul: The Traveler and the Roman Citizen by William Ramsay This is a dated study of St. Paul from the Acts of Apostles. Ramsay did his work in the 19th century, so he was not familiar with much of the archaeological information that has been discovered since his time. He is filled with details, however, which, even if I did not necessarily agree with all of his conclusions, nevertheless offered good raw material for a better understanding of Paul and Luke who wrote Acts. Overall, I would recommend this book as long as one knew from the start that it is dated. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ellicott City, MD - Reno, NV

March 14, 2017 Peace and Good, I hope you are all well. This past week I had a couple of meetings with the definitory of Our Lady of Angels Province and its provincial. This is my home province, and it extends all along the East coast of the US. I also preached a retreat to the post-novitiate students from our house in Silver Spring. This is an interprovincial house, and there were students from all four US provinces on retreat. The topic of the retreat was the Letter to the Hebrews. I did a lot of preaching on this book earlier in the year, so the topic was fresh in my mind. On Friday evening I also gave a talk at the shrine in Ellicott City on the Passion Narratives in the four Gospels. There were over 100 people there, which was a great turnout. Sunday I flew into Reno to do my visitation here. The friars have been serving in the Cathedral for the past 30 years, although they just announced that this will be their last year here. There are three friars serving here. This afternoon I fly out to Los Angeles where I will visit our friary in Hermosa Beach. I will then meet with the California definitory, and that will complete my visitation here. It has gone quite well. I have one more province in the Mid-West to visit this year. The shift in the weather has been something. When I left Baltimore, it was freezing, literally. Here in Reno it is around 70 during the day. I have finished some reading: Beautiful Brains by David Dobbs Why is it that teenagers have such a tendency to take unreasonable risks. This scientific study speaks of the fact that during the adolescent years, the brain goes through a series of processes which could be compared to a rewiring of the circuits. Many of the stop gaps that are present in older brains are just not yet developed in the teenage brain. Thus, when we accuse a teenager of not thinking something through, it is not as if the teenager has not tried. Still, speaking in terms of evolution, what would have been the advantage of going through a process such as this? The author explains that it would have been most helpful occurring in the period when the young adult was expected to fend for himself/herself. This ability to take risks would be most useful as that person separated him/herself from the tribe. Furthermore, the author explains that scientists have discovered that the teenage brain sets the teenager up to need more contact with peers than people of another age group. The teenager draws his/her cues on conduct from the people that surround him/her, and that those people are preferably peers. The Mask by Dean Koontz This is a horror story involving a young woman who is the victim of some form of reincarnation in which the tragedy of her death is repeated over and over again in succeeding generations. Some ghosts who are good and loving try to forestall the latest repeat of this tragedy by warning those involved of the impending danger. As always, Koontz is an expert both in language skills and the ability to build a spirit of terror. Pope Francis Encountering Truth This is a collection of notes taken upon 186 of Pope Francis’ daily homilies at the chapel in the St. Martha residence where he lives. His Masses there are celebrated for those staying at the residence as well as for a small group of those who have received invitations. The homilies are down to earth, and reveal many of the central messages of his pontificate. I have to admit that I don’t especially like the style of his preaching (it is a bit too repetitive for me, and the examples used don’t speak to me), while I very much enjoy the message. Fisherman’s Bend by Linda Greenlaw This is the story of a policewoman from Miami who gives up the big city to work as a deputy sheriff and insurance investigator in seaside Maine. The story is fairly well told, but I would not say it is the best written book that I have ever read. It is the kind of book that one might read for relaxation and not having to think all that much. What You Don’t Know Can Kill You by Jason Daley This is a fascinating study on why people seem to panic about certain possibilities that are very rare (e.g. radiation poisoning, airplane accidents) when they don’t about probabilities that are very high (e.g. high cholesterol, lack of exercise, car accidents). What is the mechanism that causes this disconnect and this failure to judge things objectively? Rule Number One by Bev Vincent A policeman takes a ride along for a trip around his beat. The ride along is a beautiful woman who is writing an novel about police work, or at least that is what she has told him. What she really is is a plant who wants to learn about police procedure so that she and her accomplices might rob a jewelry store. They story is well written. Hope you have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude