The slide was shot to suddenly. The penitent came out. He was next. He stood up in terror and walked blindly into the box.
At last it had come. He knelt in the silent gloom and raised his eyes to the white crucifix suspended above him. God could see he was sorry. He would tell all his sins. His confession would be long, long. Everybody in the chapel would know then what a sinner he had been. Let them know. It was true. but God had promised to forgive him if he was sorry. He was sorry. He clasped his hands and raised them towards the white form, praying with his darkened eyes, praying with all his trembling body, swaying his head to and fro like a lost creature, praying with whimpering lips.
----Sorry! Sorry! O sorry!
The slide clicked back and his heart bounded in his breast. The face of an old priest was at the grating, averted from him, leaning upon a hand. He made the sign of the cross and prayed of the priest to bless him for he had sinned. Then, bowing his head, he repeated the Confiteor in fright. At the words my most grievous fault he ceased, breathless.
----How long is it since your last confession, my child?
----A long time, father.
----A month, my child?
----Three months, my child?
----Eight months, father.
He had begun. The priest asked:
----And what do you remember since that time?
He began to confess his sins: masses missed, prayers not said, lies.
----Anything else, my child?