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The danger about the Confessor, Golda is certain, has to do with rationale. She knows his vices are inveterate; she knows his faith is sub-agnostic. And yet his explanations take her in.

These people need me, he says. That, he might even believe.

They jounce along ruts in a wagon drawn by motorcar. Golda drives. By sundown they’ll be at the next scrubby townlet, and she’ll get out the tent while he prepares his vulpine mask. Two bits to a couple likely cryers, and soon the pious and the curious will trickle in, water through the cup of his palm.