December 19th

Ludwig was woken up far too early by the pastor hammering on the door. Even though he was very sleepy, he could see the clergyman was very upset.

“Good morning, come in, what’s going on?”
“Otto, our choir master, had an accident. He’s in the hospital.”
Ludwig almost dropped the coffee mug that he was holding and stared at the pastor.
“Oh, no. What happened?”
“Well, he was in the city buying presents for the kids who didn’t have any yet. He already had most of them, when he was run over by a Fiaker.”
“A Fiaker? Did the driver not see him?”
“No, the horses came around the corner too quickly and the carriage couldn’t be stopped in time. Then again, Otto wasn’t looking either; he had his nose in the wish list he received from the parents.”
“How badly is he hurt?”
“When I got there they were just prepping him for surgery. A few broken bones, but nothing life-threatening. He’ll be lying down for quite a while though. I got the presents he had picked up so far and went to get the rest. They’re in my car.”
“Thank you, that’s a great help! What will Otto do for Christmas, I mean will he have to spend it in the hospital?”
“They didn’t know yet, but the next issue is the choir, both for the fete and the Christmas Midnight Mass.”
“Could you do it?” Ludwig asked.
“I hope so, I think they can sing most of their songs themselves all right. I guess…”
“It’ll be fine, don’t worry.”
“There was something else I wanted to ask you,” the pastor continued. “Could we hold Christmas mass in your barn as well? Everyone will be there anyway and it would be more convenient and nobody would have to go outside again.”
“Sure, sure,” Ludwig grinned.

He suspected that the pastor wanted to seize the chance to speak to more people than would go to Christmas Mass, but in the spirit of the day, he thought he might as well fulfil his wish too. Those who didn’t want to stay that long would have gone home by then anyway.

“Just let me know about Otto, so we can make sure he’ll have a good Christmas as well,” Ludwig told the pastor before he left.

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