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Last Rites

A vengeful man who turns to crime suddenly finds burglary a fascinating and easy way to make a living. After years of perfecting this art, he is able to slip in and out of towns, pinpoint the wealthiest people, rob them of their goods, sell them to unscrupulous merchants, and move to the next town without the slightest trace.

Eventually, this master of his craft gets sloppy and is caught and sent to prison. Surely, he will receive a four- or five-year sentence working in the salt mines or rowing in the Roman galleys and be released. His sentence shocks him as he realizes that he is to be executed for his crimes. This can't be! With this realization, he has come to grips with himself and has decided that if he can get just one more chance, he would make it right.

Cornered and out of options, this man spends his last night frantically hoping for a fair chance to speak at his trial and tell the world about how he would make the very most of a second chance and that he would make good with all the people he has wronged. On the last day of his life, he eventually finds help when there is none, hope when it has run out, and salvation when he least expects it.

--Joseph Gase

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