Frank still didn’t move and asked him why he needed bothrntheir wallets. “I can understand why you’d ask us for a handout,rnif you’re hungry or need bus fare, but I see that you’ve alreadyrngot several hundred dollars from Preacher Fearwell, and fromrnthe way you’re dressed, you can’t be too badly off.”rn”Oh, is that right? Well, maybe I didn’t have all the advantagesrnyou’ve had, and I’m only adjusting the balance. Everrnheard of the Maximin principle? Even that Book of yours tellsrnyou to sell all you have and give to the poor. I may be Evil, butrnI am also Poor and have been all my life. So give.”rnFearwell begged him, almost crying, “Please, Frank, give himrnthe money or he’ll kill both of us. Nothing is worth dying for.”rn”If I do what he says, then I am his slave, and I will not be arnslave to Evil, no matter what the threat. Go ahead and shoot.”rnEvil reached forward with his gunhand to smash Frank in thernhead, and as he did, Frank twisted around in the seat, andrnpulling out the .38 he always carried he shot Evil in the rightrnshoulder. The hoodlum screamed and dropped his gun, andrnwithout waiting for Fearwell to slow down the car, he openedrnthe door and rolled out.rn”I suppose you think you did something good? He’s notrndead, but we probably would have been killed, if you hadn’t gotrnoff a lucky shot. Anyway, all you’ve done is make him meaner.rnYou can never kill Evil.”rn”No,” conceded Frank, “but we can fight him. When we arerntold not to resist evil, it means that we are not to fight with ourrnneighbors or to harbor grudges. Our Lord kicked the moneychangersrnout of the temple, and He told his disciples that oncernHe was gone and they were on their own, they should buyrnswords. By the way, it wasn’t luck; I spend an hour or two everyrnweek at the pistol range. As the prophet says, ‘Everyone withrnone of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other handrnheld a weapon.’ This hoodlum may not be dead, but neitherrnare we. At the very least we prevented him from committingrntwo murders, and it will be a long time before he tries anotherrncarjacking.”rn”But Frank, what if the boy was not really Evil, but just a poorrnsoul gone astray. He said his other name was Poor. You mightrnhave killed him.”rn”Are there no rich criminals? Everyone has an excuse for takingrnhis own road to Hell. If he had been killed, it would havernbeen his fault, not ours. All I was trying to do was to preventrnhim from killing and robbing us. If I had shot him as he ranrnaway, that would have been murder—although the way thernjudges in this town are, it might be the only justice that worksrnanymore. But since he never actually said he was going to killrnus—though I think he meant to—I’m content with just wingingrnhim.”rnBy now they were driving up into the fashionable apartmentrncomplex where Crosstitch lived. Fearwell justified the opulencernof the philosopher’s residence by pointing out all the influentialrnpeople who also had apartments in the building:rnnewspaper editors, college presidents, TV news producers, andrnseveral ex-presidents and secretaries of state who represent internationalrnlobbying firms. “Crosstitch knows them all, intimately,rnand his influence is begmning to make a difference.”rnEntering the philosopher’s vast suite of apartments, Frankrnnoticed there was some kind of meeting or party going on. Inrnroom after room, fashionably dressed people were cutting clippingsrnfrom newspapers, books, and legal documents, andrnpatching together the parts of some kind of garment bigrnenough to be the peplos that pagans made every year for theirrngoddess. In one room, filled with Louis Quatorze and LouisrnQuinze furniture, the group was pulling apart the books ofrnVoltaire and Diderot and Kant as well as several complete setsrnof the Encyclopedia. Every once in a while, one of the workersrnwould paste in a paragraph—never an entire page—from thernBook. Once in place, these fragments became indistinguishablernfrom the rest.rnThey went from the Enlightenment Room to the SciencernRoom, where the same work was going on, and they walkedrnthrough a bleak and windowless hall without a sign of life: notrneven a cactus grew. It was filled with nothing but compassesrnand protractors, and various kinds of primitive computingrnequipment. The only book he recognized was in German.rn”What a dreadful place,” exclaimed Frank. “Yes,” replied Fearwell.rnIt is the Natural Law library. Nothing will grow here, becausernof the poor light, but it’s not a problem, since hardly anybodyrnever comes.”rnTurning the corner, they found themselves in the DemocraticrnCapitalism alcove—it was small, but all the furniture, althoughrnvery modern, was gilt—where a small group was busilyrnclipping coupons and cutting up an English translation of thernDeclaration of the Rights of Man. Their colleagues then pastedrnthe pages, layer upon layer, over the yellowing pages of lettersrnwritten in Latin. Frank just caught the words Rerum novarumrnbefore they were pasted over with a page of the WallrnStreet Journal. There were two pictures hanging on the wall,rnbut one of them was turned backwards. Frank lifted it up andrnsaw the name Leo XIII. The other picture was upside down,rnand he did not have to look twice to recognize the sorrowful butrnforgiving face of Leo’s current successor.rnAs thev made their way into the main salon, Crosstitchrnwalked across the crowded room to greet them. “Just a smallrngathering a few of my friends arranged for me,” he explained,rnwaving his arm vaguely as if to display the grand prize on arngame show. “1 hope, voung man, that I will soon be able to callrnyou a friend.” Fearwell asked him who all the people were, andrnCrosstitch replied: “Trial lawyers, mostly. You see, they thinkrnthat my small work has been making headway against the barbarityrnof the death penalty, and naturally thev—or rather theirrnclients—are grateful. This evening, as it happens, we’ll be havingrna prayer vigil for one of them, a young man who is going tornbe executed in Texas. What savages we are to each other—rnman is still wolf to man.”rnFrank asked what the unfortunate fellow had done to end uprnon death row, and Crosstitch mused for a moment: “I don’t justrnremember, although I’m sure it was dreadful. I think it involvedrna series of rather ghastly rapes, coupled with murder andrndismemberment. But, then, he was abused by his father.”rn”Will you be praying for his victims, too?” Frank inquired.rn”Well, yes, I suppose so. But right now, it is this poor manrnwho is being murdered by the state.”rn”Isn’t that a rather loose way of talking? After all, murder isrna certain type of unlawful homicide, whereas execution—evenrnif we think it is wrong—has almost been always regarded as a legitimaternexercise of the state’s God-given power to repressrnwickedness and protect the innocent.”rn”What difference does it make, ultimately, whether a murderrnis committed by a hoodlum in the park or by a judge passingrnsentence in his court? In one respect, the judge is the worsernoffender, because he is not operating under the kinds of ps-rnchological compulsion that drives so many murderers to dorn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn