5th April 1964
The feeling of helplessness was one to which he had become accustomed during his time in Korea. Once again he found himself standing on the sidelines while figures cloaked in white tended a motionless body. All he could do was pray, so that's what he did. And once again, his prayers went unheeded. He was less surprised this time, suicide was a cardinal sin.
"Father, I'm very sorry but I'm afraid we were too late to save Alison." The young doctor with kind eyes couldn't look at him.
"And the baby?" the priest asked.
"It's a little girl, and she's very small and weak. We don't know yet, we'll just have to hope."
25th May 1967
Father Francis Mulcahy found himself standing on the steps of a large Victorian building in Ireland. In his arms was a wriggling bundle with a shock of curly blonde hair. How he had managed to get to this point, he wasn't sure. But here he was, holding his daughter. His daughter? The words were familiar, but the concept was decidedly alien. The final obstacles had been overcome, and the last piece of paper was signed and countersigned. He'd finally convinced the authorities that the promise he'd made to the little girl's mother should count for something. As he stood there while she grasped his nose firmly, giggling at some private joke, the magistrate who had finally allowed the adoption walked past him, and spoke gently to him in a lyrical Irish brogue.
"Now, you'd be best getting your young lass off home, Father!" he said with a smile.
Mulcahy nodded. "Come on, Elisabeth," he said to the squirming little girl who was now regarding him with serious eyes. "Let's go home."