The Bishop

Pedro_Berruguete_Saint_Dominic_Presiding_over_an_Auto-da-fe_1495A fine crystal glass filled with Madeira

A teaspoon of lemon juice

A teaspoon of sugar

A dash of nutmeg

Don Pablo entered the hall three minutes late, but with a newfound energy brought on by his midday siesta. He fumbled with a stack of dusty tomes, setting them down on the wooden pulpit. Licking his finger, he leafed through the pages peppered with Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, and even bits of Arabic.

His students leaned forward, visibly eager to hear the wise words which the Bishop had prepared for them that day. Just as he opened his lips, the door to the hall burst forth from its hinges, sending a cloud of plaster over the stunned students.

“No one expects the Dartmouth Inquisition!” a voice shouted from the doorway.

Don Pablo was quick to reply. “Well, actually, if you were arrested by the Inquisition, you probably had a good sense beforehand that it was coming.”

The intruder cut him off and strode into the center of the room, “Enough with your nuanced and factual lessons on history! I, Grand Inquisitor Don Hanlon, denounce you for your academically rigorous and politically incorrect views on history. Cease now, lest these young minds be exposed to concepts and interpretations of history that challenge them to think critically about their assumptions! For the safety of our students, you are under arrest!”

With these words, two officers approached Don Pablo to drag him from the room. Instead, Don Pablo rolled up his sleeves and pushed them off. Holding his head high, he followed the Inquisitor out of the room, his pride intact. Before he left, he turned to his students one last time. “Plus! Oultre!” he exclaimed with some gesticulations. With a final bow, he was gone.

It was not until many years later that Don Pablo’s trial concluded and the charges were found to be baseless. At the twenty-fifth reunion of the class of 2017, Don Pablo’s former students sat together in a new lecture hall, located in the space formerly occupied by Carson Hall, which had been replaced by a neoclassical edifice named after Pope Jones I. The students waited with bated breath as Don Pablo entered the room late, and they slowly stood to render him applause. Without a pause, Don Pablo opened his notes and began to speak.

By Breaker Morant